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3 Kinds Of Workplace Stress

Workers across America will tell you that stress levels are increasing. The demand for anti-depressants is up. Doctor’s visits are increasing. Stress-related ailments are shooting up like a rocket. There are many stressors behind all these problems, but the gurus generally classify the stress itself into three categories. Understanding the major types is the first step to controlling stress and improving productivity.

Acute Stress. This kind of stress is caused by recent events. It is significant but temporary. Small doses can result in positive reactions: the adrenaline rush and feelings of elation can motivate achievement. Too much too often results in headaches, backaches, upset stomach, and other tension-related responses.

Episodic Acute Stress. This type stress is caused by frequent exposure to stressors. These people are generally over committed, lack the time and ability to accomplish everything, and often find themselves at odds with coworkers. This is much more serious than the first kind as irritability turns to anger, occasional tension headaches become frequent migraines, heart palpitations lead to chest pain, and high anxiety becomes a way of life.

Chronic Stress. This is related to the others but carries none of the thrill or adrenaline rush found with acute stress. The long-term nature of chronic stress is such that people actually become accustomed to the stressors and accept them as a way of life; they see no escape from poverty, job issues, abusive situations, or physical hardships.

What kind of stress do you observe in your workplace? Are your colleagues and/or employees plagued with tension headaches and back aches? Are some of them even more stressed, succumbing to anger and migraines? Or do you have some people who are so far over the edge that they have given up hope? How much is all of this costing your company?