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Stress in the Workplace

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Essay title: Stress in the Workplace

Stress In the Workplace

It happens to everyone. Whether you are a CEO running a major corporation, a stay-at-home mom tending to the house and the children or a student coping with classes and homework, stress-a silent monster-is bound to creep into your life at some point. The key is to figure out how to deal with the pressure so that it doesn’t become a danger to your health. What is stress? The online dictionary defines it as being a mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health. (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=stress) There are two major types of stress: acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress is the most common form and demands and pressures of the recent past or what might be anticipated in the near future typically cause it. It is considered to be short term and disappears once the stressor is over. Chronic stress however can have its effect over a longer period of time, taking its toll on the mind and body. (Yarbrough 16) Stress can become dangerous over time if not treated properly. A major source of stress comes from feeling helpless, hopeless and out of control. Such factors as unemployment, limited income, living with or among continuous violence and existing in a dissatisfying relationship as major stress if not dealt with in some manner could lead to the deterioration of your well being. Additional stress in the workplace can cause physical ailment and other health issues.

An ailment according to the online dictionary is defined as a physical or mental disorder, especially a mild illness. (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=ailment) There are several stress related ailments and health conditions. High stress levels may cause hair loss. Stress can trigger mental and emotional problems such as insomnia, headaches, irritability, anxiety and depression. Ulcers and excessive dryness are often symptoms of stress. Accumulated stress is linked to cardiovascular disease and hypertension. High levels of emotional stress adversely affect individuals with asthma. Outbreaks of skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis can be caused by stress. Stress can aggravate or cause diseases of the digestive tract including gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcers, ulcerative colitis and irritable colon. Neck, shoulder, lower back pain and various minor twitches and nervous tics are more noticeable under stress. Stress can also be the result of menstrual disorders and recurrent vaginal infections in women and impotence and premature ejaculation in men. (http://www.stress.org/) Because stress, by its nature, is an internal condition, a duty falls upon the employee to inform his or her employer if that individual feels unduly stressed at work. Another way "stress," can be defined is when pressure exceeds one's perceived ability to cope" this is a widely accepted definition. Americans may be making themselves sick just by going to

work each day, according to a new study commissioned by LLuminari, a

national health education firm. The study shows that differences in the way men and women are managed -- fueled by the differences in what they value most at work -- puts both genders at risk for cardiovascular problems, depression and a higher susceptibility to infectious diseases. Gender-based differences in workplace values can create a company culture of underlying stress and conflict that affects the physical and emotional health of both men and women. The study, titled "Creating Healthy Corporate Cultures for Both

Genders," also shows that women are at a higher health risk from workplace stress than men. (Heart Disease Weekly July 2004 p73) The top five work-related causes of stress and ill health identified by respondents in the study were: 1) mentally tiring work; 2) time pressure; 3) too many changes within the job; 4) not getting enough feedback; 5) not having enough influence on their job and how it is done.

Job stress is also very costly with the price tag for U.S. industry estimated at over $300 billion annually as a result of: accidents, absenteeism, employee turnover, and diminished productivity, direct medical, legal, and insurance costs. Workers' compensation awards as well as tort and FELA judgments. ( ) Stress from work and home environments can impinge upon an individual. Individual factors then determine whether the stress is perceived

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