This is “Sources of Stress”, section 3.3 from the book Beginning Human Relations (v. 1.0).
This book is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms.
This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book.
Normally, the author and publisher would be credited here. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. Additionally, per the publisher's request, their name has been removed in some passages. More information is available on this project's attribution page.
For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. You can browse or download additional books there. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (43 MB) or just this chapter (7 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline).
As we have studied so far in this chapter, we can experience a number of possible stressors. We can divide these stressors into personal stresses and work stresses. Although we divide them for purposes of ease, it is intuitive that if someone is experiencing personal stress, he or she will also experience it at work, which will result in lessened workplace performance. In fact, the American Institute of Stress estimates that workplace stress costs companies $300 billion annually. This cost is a result of increased absenteeism, employee turnover, and higher medical and insurance costs due to stress related illness and worker productivity.The American Institute of Stress, “Stress in the Workplace,” accessed February 19, 2012, http://www.stress.org/workplace-stress/
According to the American Institute of Stress,The American Institute of Stress, “Stress in the Workplace,” accessed February 19, 2012, http://www.stress.org/workplace-stress/ some of the common causes of workplace stress include the following:
Figure 3.3 Some of the Reasons Cited for Workplace Stress
Registered clinical psychologist Dr. Cheryl talks about some ways to manage stress at work.
Figure 3.4 Time Use on an Average Work Day for Employed Persons Ages Twenty-five to Fifty-four with Children
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows how much time we spend at work. Since we spend more time at work than doing anything else, learning how to manage stress at work is an important part to our personal well-being and productivity.
While job stress is important to consider, stresses in our personal life can cause issues in our job. In this section, we will discuss some of the major personal stressors.
A humorous (and exaggerated) example of stress caused by type A personality.
Thomas H. Holmes and Richard Rahe measured personal stress by Life Change Units. According to their research, the more “major changes” one experiences, the higher chance a person will end up with a stress-induced illness. Someone with a score of 300 or more is said to be at a high risk of illness.H. Thomas Holmes and Richard H. Rahe, “The Social Readjustment Rating Scale”, Journal of Psychosomatic Research 11, no. 2, (August 1967): 213–18. If you look at the events of your life over the last year, what is your score?
Now that we have discussed the things that cause stress, Section 3.4 "Reducing Stress" will address some ways we can relieve stress in our lives.
Understanding your own stress level is an emotional intelligence skill (self-awareness). Take this quiz, and rate how you typically react in each of the situations listed below.
4 = Always
3 = Frequently
2 = Sometimes
1 = Never
Enter the appropriate number in the blank for each question below, and then add up your numbers to determine your stress level.
If your score is between 20 and 30, chances are you are nonproductive or your life lacks stimulation.
A score between 31 and 50 designates a good balance in your ability to handle and control stress.
If you tallied up a score ranging between 51 and 60, your stress level is marginal and you are bordering on being excessively tense.
If your total number of points exceeds 60, you may be a candidate for heart disease and need to immediately find ways to relieve your stress.