I search “work stress” on Google News every day. Well over a hundred thousand results greet me and the daunting task of separating the wheat from the chaff begins. I tend to look for new information and trends from the credible companies that track this stuff worldwide. Taking note of global trends, perhaps we should all put work stress on our personal “fix-it” list.
Breaking Work Stress News
The latest Towers Watson survey for example, was a stunner. The global professional services company found that 98% of the respondents in their survey (companies that measure well-being at work) indicated stress management was the key focus toward improving employee productivity. The study is out of the UK, but it’s certainly a wake up call for us all.
The question is whether such galvanizing news has people actually taking steps to reduce their workplace stress or just heading back to working long hours, sticking to impossible deadlines and drowning in the landfill of an exponentially increasing workload.
Flavor of the Month Eventually Sours
I’d suggest the later is the likely scenario. Part of the problem is that while the news evolves into conversation and the stress “flavor” of the month is discussed at the water cooler, it often remains on the side lines until someone, or their career, gets hurt.
For example, In my recent Forbes.com article, Work Stress Directly Linked to Heart Disease, I write about the obvious. How work stress impacts our health, causing illness that is often difficult to reverse. And work-related stress doesn’t stop at the heart, it impacts the brain’s mental clarity and creativity as Deepak Chopra talks about in an interview (click here to read) I did with him after the release of his book, Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being.
Time & Technology
Work stress often comes from our inability to manage time and technology. In another post here at WorkLifeNation.com, Work-Life Technology Paradox Impacts Work Stress, I write about how we’re stuck in a vacuum of perpetual information overload, that we’re programmed to pay attention to – while being pressed to focus on work and excel or suffer potential consequences.
Work stress can manifest as bumps in the road working against efforts to be fully present and efficient at work. It can also thwart motivation to develop new skills or even new vocation. But work stress has a silver lining in that the energy we waste on stressing-out, can be channeled differently toward transformation. You can begin with a more mindful approach to you workday rituals as I write about here, or trying some new strategies like meditation which I demystify here, or breath work which I write about in my recent Huffington Post: 5 Breathing Tools to Break Work Stress.
Imagine using up all that worry as fuel toward cultivating the calm, which allows creativity to emerge. I write about this in my May WorkLifeNation.com Newsletter which you can read here.
Also, if you are local here on Long Island, I’m offering a complimentary workshop at the new co-working facility – Launchpad in Mineola, to help you develop your own individual program to manage stress and use it as fuel to create. (click here for details and to sign up) Tuesday, May 21st 6:30PM-8:00PM. Hope to see you then!
Do you have a personal strategy to tackle work stress? I’d like to hear about it.Please join me in the conversation at @JudyMartin8