Have you got the right amount of pressure in your professional life? What causes you stress at work? Why should we bother managing our stress levels?
Notice if there are any tips that could help you remove some of the stressors that sap your energy. Or could you look out for any warning signs in colleagues, team members etc and potentially help them? We probably all know people who have had too much stress and recovery takes a long time.
Common stress triggers
Pressure at work is a good thing and part of normal life, but too much causes stress. Alternatively, with no stress, pressure or demands, it would be hard to get going at all and our motivation might suffer. Too much stress is as bad as too little. So where does all this stress come from? The usual sources of stress include big events such as death, divorce, moving house and illness – but what about the more day-to-day work events that can stress us out? How many in this list apply to you and are you happy about it?
- Public speaking
- Changing jobs
- Networking meetings and conversations
- Attending Interviews
- Bad traffic
- Sitting Exams
- Meeting deadlines
- Someone shouting at you/telling you off
- Forgetting something important Meeting sales targets/other targets
- Work overload
- Unable to make a decision/procrastination
- Not enough work
- Constant change & reorganisation
- Constant availability through technology
- A poor working relationship with your boss/colleague/team member
If you are suffering from too much stress as a result of some of the above the impact can gradually build up to some quite profound physical and mental results.
Just some of the likely physical effects you want to avoid:
- Stomach ulcers
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Raised stress hormone levels (these actually shrink the part of the brain where new memories are laid down, especially spatial memories like “where have I left my keys?”)
The mental effects you really don’t want:
Burnout at work can lead to the following problems:
- Emotional exhaustion
- A detached attitude towards others
- A low sense of accomplishment
League table for stressful professions
So which professions suffer the most from stress? Some recent American research by Martin Seligman listed the following professions as the most stressful:
Occupational research has found that it’s not so much the workload that causes stress but the amount of control you have over the way you do your job. So even if you have a lot of work to do, having some say in it buffers you from the effects of stress. What is it about lawyers that make them vulnerable? The latest theory by Seligman is that lawyers tend to be pessimistic personality types. Pessimism is seen as a plus amongst lawyers because seeing situations from a prudent perspective, from every conceivable angle is beneficial. The key here then is not to take home the pessimism but instead expect things to work out and opt for flexible optimism! Do you British lawyers agree with this?
Managing your optimum stress levels is a skill worth learning. If you would like help with developing that skill, get in touch. Tweet