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Stressed at Work? For Those Who Never Tell

You are not alone if you are overwhelmed by the extraordinary demands of today’s society. You are not alone if you struggle with maintaining peace in the workplace. You are not alone if you are struggling with whether to speak up or keep quiet. You are not alone if personality conflicts are making it difficult for you to do your job. You are not alone if you feel overstretched, untrained, too connected or even disconnected. You are not alone if work is stressing you out!

Stress is an adaptive response that compels us to quickly identify the best strategy to survive or overcome unfavorable situations (fight or flight). As our bodies naturally prepare to confront

the unexpected and potentially dangerous conditions that ultimately may affect our livelihood or existence, we instinctively adapt. There are so many things that can jeopardize our way of life in the workplace. Inundated with organizational change, personality conflicts, long hours, ulterior motives, unclear directives, and customer demands, it’s no surprise that work has become a place of standardized chaos. The physical, mental, and emotional strain we experience from being poked, pulled, and plucked by work, financial obligations, family, and friends on a daily basis has become undeniably unbearable. As a consequence, A growing 83% of American workers have reported being highly or extremely stressed with a strong desire to learn how to manage their stress in the workplace.

The Root of it All

Wondering how this is possible during a time when employees have more rights, more outlets, more technology and a stronger voice than ever before, the reason is two-fold.

1) Businesses struggle to compete; they are forced to do more with less. With less time, fewer people, fewer resources, and less training, workloads down from the corner office to the basement has everyone flooded with other people’s mess, other people’s expectations, and the appearance of success.

2) Our society has become completely obsessed with power, titles, and materialistic possessions so much that high levels of stress have gained unlimited access to our daily lives to keep up appearances or satisfy one-sided desires.

Still, over one- third of surveyed US workers named their boss as their primary source of stress at work and currently says poor communication is the origin. But research also shows that stress in the workplace is more personalized than one realizes and varies depending on individual characteristics, wants, needs and how one perceives and responds to a particular person, situation, task, or environment. In other words, what causes frustration and anxiety for some does not trigger stress responses for others. Nonetheless, pay attention to these common signs of stress in the workplace:

Common Signs in the Workplace

· Apathy and loss of interest in work

· Failing to complete tasks

· Trouble concentrating

· Overly demanding and hard to please

· Disorganized

· Forgetful

· Restlessness, agitated, and impatient

· Periods of anxiety and lack of sleep

Managing Workplace Stress

When stress levels rev up, we revert to three common coping strategies to calm the thunder. We either try to control by confronting the issue head-on to remedy the problem. We attempt to run away or dodge issues long enough for them to go away on their own, or we concentrate on stress-related symptoms that affect our physical, mental, and emotional state versus the root cause by introducing relaxation, medication, or exercise techniques.

Please take into account; stress is an adaptive response based on how we individually perceive and respond to situations, people, or environments; therefore, the most effective tool for managing stress is you! Take time to look inward, and ask yourself, what about this person, place or thing is causing me distress. Then, commit to enhancing your outlook by developing these three traits to help decrease your stress levels at work.

1) Discover the good: Perception is everything. Make a conscious effort to consider hidden opportunities in matters, causing extreme stress responses.

2) Find purpose amid fear, anger, and frustration: There are things we can control and things we cannot. Your talents and skills can support you in pushing past moments of uncertainty – lending you the confidence and insight needed to predict, prepare, prevent, and prevail unfavorable encounters in spite of oppositions. Be intentional with your actions and believe that it will all work out.

3) See issues as teachable moments: Challenge yourself to see the problem, the slight or unfavorable predicament as a chance to enhance your skills and your perceptiveness rather than an obstruction to your welfare in the workplace.

10 Common Workplace Stressors

In a nutshell

94% of American workers admit to being stressed at work in 2019, and the year isn’t over, but all stress is not bad or harmful to our well-being. Some pressure can push us to unforeseen heights. For instance, closing the biggest deal of your career, or coming up with the most innovative solution to enhance customer or employee satisfaction are two examples when stress has a positive outcome.

To positively influence events or people that pose a threat to your mental, or physical well-being, learn how to neutralize the stress by becoming aware of how you think, anticipate, and respond to unfavorable matters. Life is about choices, lessons, opportunities, and growth. There is potential good in every wrong, hurdle, and setback if you allow yourself to see it.

Remember, you are not alone! To learn more about leadership coaching, training workshop and speaking services that focuses on occupational stress, email Kesi Howard at  or log onto Call today, 412-557-2966.

Works Cited

Kreitner, R., & Kinicki, A. (2010). Organizational Behavior, ninth edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Workplace stress. (1979-2019). Retrieved from The American Institute of Stress:

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