People in all professions are experiencing exceptionally high levels of workplace stress. In fact, job stress is listed as a top health threat. It may surprise you, though, that some stress is normal, even productive.
“Job stress is the norm for most people at work,” explains David Engen, a job consultant. “In fact, a lot of creative and wonderful things can happen under stress.”
释放压力 Let It Go
Bursts of stress release hormones and activate the nervous system, sharpening our senses and raising alertness. This is a very functional response for emergencies.But simultaneously our pulses rise, our muscles tense and our immune system shuts down. Says James Campbell Quick, author or editor of six books on stress management, “Since you cannot escape stress, the key is learning to manage stress. You have to be able to let the stress go.”
People who internalize stress can end up with a variety of medical, psychological and behavioral problems. These range from fatigue and frequent headaches to family breakdowns, depression and more. The modern workplace makes stress worse. Information comes faster, responses must be quicker, hours worked are rising and many employees worry about job security.
One group at particular risk for negative job stress is working mothers. Dr. Murray A. Mittleman explains that for most people, levels of stress hormones drop at night. “But,” he says, “stress hormones in working women rise even higher in the evening.” That rise is likely due to their dual roles, combining home and work stress.
Also at high risk are people with heavy stress both at home and on the job. “It can be scary when personal and work situations gang up on us,” says James Campbell Quick.
学会对抗压力 Learn to Fight Stress
You can take stress-prevention steps, which include everything from avoiding negative gossip to getting more sleep. Limiting caffeine, alcohol and other drugs can help, as can learning to say “no” to extra job requests.
People who manage stress well share certain traits, says Quick. They have a good social support system—a network of family and friends to turn to for sympathy and fun—they take time to relax, and they are physically fit.
In fact, Dr. Mittleman has found that exercise lowers the risk of a stress-triggered heart attack. “You can't live your life in a bland way, avoiding everything,” he says, “but you can live your life in a healthy way, eating well and exercising.”
六种克服压力的方法 Six Ways to Overcome Stress
1. Plan ahead. Ask positive questions about responsibilities, deadlines and expectations. Questions should show that you want to do the job better. If your workload is too heavy, say so. Good supervisors want employees to do well.
2. Avoid constantly negative people. Too much negative affects morale and is contagious.
3. Set priorities. Try to check e-mail only at select points during the day, for example.
4. Keep in mind the importance of friends, hobbies and family. You are merely a person with a job. Don't let your job control your life.
5. Get enough sleep. Trading a half-hour of TV for extra sleep can change your attitude.
6. Change your scenery. When you feel stressed, go to another room or take a walk outside. Take time off. Schedule vacations before you get overwhelmed.