We all experience stress in our jobs, even if we’re working at our “dream job.” That’s because every job entails a certain amount of responsibility. Unless you don’t care a bit about your job – in which case, you won’t be employed much longer – you make every effort to fulfill your responsibilities; and that can cause stress, particularly when you’re “under the gun” in terms of a project, deadline, presentation, etc. Workplace stress also can manifest because your job is your source of income, and the prospect of losing that income (which in most cases, is always a threat, whether real or perceived) can be frightening.
Add in the sometimes-contentious interactions with your boss, co-workers and other parties with whom you interact, and that stress can simmer slowly or boil over in a moment’s notice. But can stress actually be deadly?
Yes, suggests a recent review study by Stanford University and Harvard Business School that evaluated the impact of 10 workplace stressors (including some of the stressors discussed above) on four health outcomes. After analyzing 228 studies, the researchers found “job insecurity increases the odds of reporting poor health by about 50%, high job demands raise the odds of having a physician-diagnosed illness by 35%, and long work hours increase mortality by almost 20%.” Most people have enough stress in their lives – add workplace-related stress and you could be concocting a recipe for disaster.
Two solutions: Find ways to better manage the sources of stress (so you don’t experience stress int he first place; or learn how to reduce the impact stress has on you when it inevitably rears its ugly head