Workplace stress is a pervasive and potentially debilitating experience, causing anxiety, tension, strain and nervousness.
Higher levels of stress at work have been linked to a wide range of serious mental and physical health conditions including:
- Cardiovascular disease;
- Musculoskeletal disorders;
- Gastrointestinal disorders.
Prolonged exposure to stress can trigger a downward spiral undermining a person’s ability to cope with existing and new challenges, eroding self confidence, negatively impacting on job performance and satisfaction, demoralising mood, and destabilising interpersonal relationships with co-workers, family and friends.
Stress also can impede the clear thinking, energy and cognitive ability necessary to perform at your peak level and realise your career ambitions and goals.
Work-Related Stress in Managers
For those individuals in Executive, Leadership and Management Levels – the impact of stress may be even more intense and insidious.
Factors such as accountability for the outcomes of others, responsibility for managing significant budgets and projects, pressure to provide a role model for others, and “organisational politics” can all lead to significant stress.
Furthermore, those in senior roles may find themselves less able or inclined to seek help, erroneously believing that seeking help is an indication of weakness; they also often lack access to a cohesive and supportive peer group of others at the same level and experiencing similar stressors.
Access to an expert, objective, and insight-inspiring third party is in these cases invaluable in restoring and optimising performance and wellbeing.
Early Warning Signs of Work-Related Stress
Some common early warning signs of the impact of stress may include:
- headaches, muscular tension, fatigue, stomach upsets;
- problems sleeping;
- difficulty concentrating, irritability, mood swings, tearful outbursts;
- weight gain or loss;
- nervous habits such as nail biting or pacing;
- low morale, decreases in the quality of work;
- heart palpitations;
- feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope;
- reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions;
- diminished creativity and initiative;
- problems with interpersonal relationships;
- feelings of isolation and hopelessness.
Perhaps you, or someone you care about, is experiencing negative symptoms of work-related stress, or is being held back from realising their full performance potential as a result of stress. Directing this person to appropriate support, including a skilled psychologist, at as early a stage as possible can help them better manage the stress in their life.
We can’t completely stress-proof our lives: stress is a normal part of our professional and personal experience. However working with a psychologist who has particular insight in this field can help you to take more productive steps towards problem solving, managing and resolving sources of stress, and developing a greater emotional resilience to the effects of stress.
While it may be difficult to fathom at the moment, some degree of stress can even be performance and motivation enhancing – if approached with the right tools, mindset and strategy.
Author: Ainsley Salsbury, BA (Psych), Post Grad. Dip. App. Psych, BBus (HRM).
Ainsley Salsbury is a registered psychologist experienced in assisting clients with work-related stress, to help them achieve peak performance and wellbeing. As well as her credentials as a psychologist, she has a Bachelor in Human Resource Management, and has worked in specialist capacities within large organisations, and consulted extensively as a Corporate Psychologist.
She has spent 12 years of her professional life working with clients from a wide range of backgrounds from Corporate Executives, lawyers and accountants to those in manufacturing, correctional services, health, government, school children and recent humanitarian (refugee) entrants to Australia.
Her work in the field of workplace stress and Executive Coaching is enriched by her largely Cognitive-Behavioural therapeutic orientation, extensive insight into Organisational Dynamics and Behaviours, knowledge and application of a wide variety of Management and Leadership Models, and a fierce commitment to achieving practical outcomes for her clients.
Please call 1800 877 924 to make an appointment or book Ainsley Salsbury online now!