Is Your Job Stress On The Rise? Can Burnout Be Far Behind?
Do your work-days seem increasingly stressful? Are you finding it harder to see a light at the end of the tunnel?

Maybe you need to find a way to beat stress before it beats you–and turns into burnout!

Job Stress: Why It Happens

Of course, job stress doesn’t necessarily happen in a vacuum (that is, at work). Taking work home with you at night could be a contributing factor to stress in areas outside the work environment.

That said, your job might offer plenty of stress-inducing elements all by itself. Just to list a few of them:

- Insanely tight deadlines
- Hectic travel schedules
- Email overload
- Unreasonable bosses
- Unrealistic customer expectations

I think at least part of the problem is that we expect (or others expect us) to do more than we used to. In other words, the pace of life in general has quickened. Technology might play a large part in this, but we have to bear some of the responsibility. The choices we make affect our experience at work and outside of work. This includes decisions about our use of technology: if, when, how much, how long?

Job stress has a close relationship to how great a sense of control (or lack of control) we have over our circumstances. For example, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most control:

1.Your boss directs you to have a major project completed by the end of the day tomorrow, when you thought you had another week to work on it. (1)

2.You’ve been asked to take on a special project that you know you’d be good at, but you’re feeling maxed-out already. (7)

3.One of your best customers makes a request to have a key delivery expedited, with relatively little advance notice. (5)

In each of these cases, you could theoretically have at least some control; however, it might be very limited–particularly in the first situation above. For #2, you might be able to negotiate some help from colleagues or arrange to reorganize some priorities so you could free-up time to take on the new project. For #3, you might manage to identify a solution that, with extra effort on your part, would satisfy the customer request; barring that, your ability to control the situation would probably diminish.

Job Stress: What to Do About It

Job stress coping techniques abound. Just Google “job stress coping strategies.” You’ll see a ton of links (okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but not much). Even the Mayo Clinic has an article titled “Coping with Stress: Workplace Tips.”

Find a way to give yourself some mental and physical breathing room. Whatever techniques help you do that might be just the ticket for your job stress challenge.

And, if all else fails, try to take your cue from one of our animal friends and just relax!