Take this job and shove it, I aint working here no more. For countless numbers of unhappy employees these immortal words made famous by country singer Johnny PayCheck still resonate as loudly today as when he first sang them in 1977. How many days do you get up wanting to quit your job? Are you bored with your work, disgusted, restless, unmotivated or unchallenged? Are you worried someone else wants your job? Are you experiencing harassment or conflicts with bosses or co-workers? If so you are a good candidate for job stress and you are not alone. According to Northwestern National Life Insurance Company, 25% of Americans view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.
It is estimated that the average person works 40 50 hours a week, 50 weeks a year. That translates to 75% of our waking hours and most of our energy being spent on the job. When work conditions are unsatisfactory our health and well being are highly impacted.
Overcoming workplace stress is vital to our well being because it has a ripple effect into every aspect of life. Job stress not only impacts our self image and self esteem, it affects our relationships with family, friends and co-workers. Workplace problems extend far beyond the time we spend there and are not easily left behind at the end of the day.
What is making our jobs so stressful? Work is an integral part of human life. Work expresses our basic need to accomplish, create, experience satisfaction and feel meaningful. However, when workplace conditions deny people the opportunity to utilize their creativity, intelligence and decision-making ability there is a breeding ground for dissatisfaction.
Stress is often confused with challenge. Challenge energizes us psychologically and physically. Its what motivates us to learn new skills and master our jobs. When a challenge is met, we feel relaxed and satisfied; therefore challenge can be a key ingredient for healthy and productive work. Its when challenge becomes overwhelming that it starts becoming stressful. Paul J. Rosch, M.D. and President of the American Institute of Stress, described the fine line between challenge and stress as follows: Increased stress increases productivity up to a point, after which things rapidly deteriorate, and that level differs for each of us.
How do you do that? Its not likely you can adjust your job to suit yourself or change your boss or co-workers, and you may not be in a position to change your workplace. There are, however, ways you can temporarily relieve pressure during the work day. Get organized when you arrive at work. Getting your priories straight will help keep you focused on what is important.
While there is no one strategy that meets everyones needs, there are many recognized stress management courses, seminars and therapies that will help. The most effective ones address the underlying causes rather than treating the symptoms. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is one of the therapies that will do that. EFT identifies and desensitizes the underlying triggers that are driving the stress. EFT is an easy to learn self-help technique that can be used anywhere to defuse emotional situations and soothe the bodys energy system.