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Top 10 Reasons to Manage Stress

March 9, 2010

1. Stress can cause you to ‘numb out’ and become insensitive. This is a natural survival instinct in an emotionally painful environment and could cause you to become an ineffective customer service representative or an insensitive manager. (David Lee, Training Scene)

2. Stress can stifle your creativity and innovation in the workplace due to the high physiological and psychological effects it can have on you. It causes your thought process to narrow and could make it harder for you to excel at thinking out of the box. (David Lee, Training Scene).This can be detrimental to your job security because in today’s harsh economic environment, “innovation is the best source of competitive advantage” according to Professor Larry Smith at the University of Waterloo.

3. Stress can cause accidents because your mind is often occupied elsewhere creating what David Lee author of “Managing Employee Stress and Safety” calls ‘tunnel vision’.

4. Stress can cause conflicts between you and your co-workers. In fact it could potentially lead to violence. According to the “Attitudes In The American Workplace VI” Gallup Poll in 2000: 14% of respondents had felt like striking a coworker in the past year, but didn’t; 25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress
, 10% are concerned about an individual at work they fear could become violent.

5. Stress is can make you less productive as it might cause you to miss work, quit or change jobs. Northwest National Life reported in 1993 that one million absences each day in the workplace are stress-related and it is estimated that 40% of worker turnover is due to job stress.

6. Stress can cause memory loss. The renowned brain researcher, Robert M. Sapolsky, has shown that sustained stress can damage the hippocampus, the part of the limbic brain which is central to learning and memory. The culprit is Cortisol a hormone secreted from the adrenal glands during stress.

7. Stress can affect your problem solving abilities. In a study done by Thomas D’Zurilla and F.Collette Sheedy in 1990, they measured specific components of the problem-solving process (e.g., problem orientation, problem-solving skills). The results of the analysis showed that general problem-solving ability was negatively affected even years later when the stress/problems have disappeared.

8. Stress can cause weight gain. Too much cortisol can slow your metabolism, causing more weight gain than normal. You may also experience more cravings as the hormones released during stress cause carbohydrate cravings by lowering levels of serotonin, the calming hormone (Psychology Today, August 2007).

9. Stress can elevate your cholesterol levels. Studies of medical students near exam time and accountants during tax season showed significant increases in cholesterol levels during stressful events, when there was little or no change in diet. (Rosenman, 1993)

10. Stress can increase your risk of stroke even 50 years down the line. In a study of 556 veterans of WWII, the rate of stroke among those who had been prisoners of war was eight times higher than among those not captured. (Page and Brass, Yale Medical, 2001).

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 31, 2010 8:35 am

    Excellent article. Most people realize they have stress but few understand how dangerous it can be and why it is so important to manage it.

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