The topic I chose to write about for the final paper is job stress. Throughout the course, I have found it very interesting to learn about. Job stress can play a significant role on someone’s life, but they have the ability to cope with the stress as well. I will talk about the common job stressors and the outcomes from them, certain job characteristics and the impact of them, and coping strategies, along with a model of stress.
Different jobs experience different types of stress, but it’s how a person feels about that job that can impact their stress.
For example, the jobs-demands control model explains this a lot. This model states that when a person has lack of control over what they are doing, this creates strain. The less control someone has in their job; this then creates more stress. An example would be someone with a very demanding job, but has a lack of control on what to do, therefor creating stress.
Whereas, someone could have a very demanding job, but are able to make decisions and have some of a control over what they are doing. Although the job is demanding, it is seen as less stressful because the ability to make decisions, and have some control. “Certain jobs can be especially stressful, particularly those where the stakes are high and coworkers have little control over many outcomes”
Many people face everyday stressors, and most face job stressors as well. Some common job stressors could be having a boss that one doesn’t like, having conflict with coworkers, over even yet, experiencing burnout.
Burnout is essentially emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue, and cognitive weariness. Burnout is our emotional reactions to stress that drains our emotional, physical, and mental energy supplies. Another job stressor is harassment and discrimination, typically in women. Sexual harassment stress increases likelihood of job turnover, use of sick leave, and loss of work productivity. Although it seems as if stress from work comes directly from work itself, there are other factors to consider. There are two sets of factors that likely contribute to work-related stress. The first factor being how much outside social support the person has. The second is from job organization sources of stress, typically correlated with being the professional and doing the job. Aside from what burnout feels like, and work stressors, there are professions that a more prone to stress than others.
It might seem like those who have caring professions wouldn’t experience a lot of stress, but burnout and addiction problems often affect those who are in caring professionals. Usually, teachers experience burnout and profession. Along with teachers, doctors experience this because of the “idealistic motivation to help others.” Physicians reported roughly a 50% average higher emotional stress level than nurses. Looking from a different angel, managers also experience stress, but one of the most common abnormal mental developments in managers is narcissism. They typically take on a bigger identity to what they have, and it grows into narcissism. Even though mangers have greater job control than a lot of occupational groups, they also report high levels of stress.” If work related stress isn’t taken care of, it can lead to long-term problems.
Work stress confers an additional 50% excess CHD risk, and the most common causes of death among the burned-out workers were alcohol use related, coronary artery disease, suicide, accidents, lung cancer in men, and breast cancer in women. Burnout is also highly linked to coronary artery disease, as well as other coronary risk factors such as the metabolic syndrome, dysregulation of the hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal axis along with sympathetic nervous system activation, sleep disturbances, systemic inflammation, impaired immunity functions, blood coagulation and fibrinolysis, and poor health behaviors. Sexual harassment in the workplace is also associated with an increase in physical symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, fatigue, GI disturbances, and teeth grinding. Everyday job stress may seem impossible to manage, especially someone who is experiencing burnout, however, there are options, and coping strategies to help.
Coping strategies can be the barrier between stress and longevity. Coping strategies work for someone who is slightly stressed out, to someone who is experiencing extreme burnout. Either way, they are important for dealing with the problem, to prevent it going further. To start, time management is a great strategy to help accomplish goals in the workplace. Time management put into good use reduces feelings of pressure when having a lot of unfinished work or deadlines. Time management improves productivity and creates time for things such as hobbies, recreation, and socializing that recharges us and reduces stress. Some time management strategies are keep a daily time log, establish goals and prioritize, follow the pareto principle meaning that 20% of goals contain 80% of the total value, set boundaries and limit digital media to prevent digital overload, get rid of tasks that aren’t your main focus so you can get the bigger task done, and schedule relaxation time. Coping strategies aren’t always done by the person themselves.
Other coping strategy would be interventions such as primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. Primary prevention can be job redesign, role restructuring, or organizational restructuring. These are usually done by self-report questionnaires to help the company understand better. Secondary prevention is about teaching skills such as stress management. These skills could even be relaxation, assertiveness, lifestyle management, or traditional stress management skills. Lastly, the tertiary prevention covers employees who need rehabilitation and recovery assistance due to developing mental or physical health conditions related to stress. This is usually through a program that can provide counseling, or referral to treatment needed. The program is usually an employer-funded benefit, and employees report high levels of satisfaction with EAPs. Another coping strategy that can make a big impact is physical activity. Physical activity can improve health, and reduce the risk of some diseases. Physical activity can strengthen the circulatory system, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improve mood and reduce depression and anxiety, and extend longevity. It might seem like a lot of work to deal with job related stress, but it can pay off in the long-run.
People tend to feel more in control of stressful situations when they have high levels of confidence in their skills and ability to cope with life’s challenges. This then leads to reports of fewer stress effects. It may seem hard to cope, but there are options as stated above.
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