Friday, October 27, 2020

Myths About Workplace Stress

Here's an interesting post from Penelope Trunk, over at Brazen Careerist, titled: "Myths we hold about workplace stress." She writes:
First of all, stress at the workplace does not always cause unhappiness. Your workplace happiness hinges more on whether or not you like your work than on whether or not your work is stressful, according to Alan Krueger, professor at Princeton University.

That said, declaring that you thrive under stress is a delusional justification for procrastination. Sure, there are people who can't figure out how to deliver on anything until the last minute. But this is a crisis in confidence (fear of starting for fear of failing) as opposed to stunning brilliance unlocked by stress.
I think stress is, by its very nature, always negative. Pressure may create stress, but pressure is not negative in itself. Some pressure is even enjoyable, getting the blood racing and the mind whirring. What turns pressure into stress may be any of these added factors:Many people dismiss the idea of slowing down, or taking work/life balance seriously, out of a mixture of bravado and the idea that pressure is natural. It is, and so is stress. We can all withstand some level of stress, especially if it comes in short bursts, with gaps in between for recovery. What leads to burnout and sickness is long-term, unrelenting levels of stress. When that happens, things go badly wrong and may not be recoverable.

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Thanks for the link, Carmine. Thank you also for drawing a nice distinction between pressure and stress. Your post makes me think that I should start charting the amount of pressure I feel each week, and plan the following week based on that -- to find the magical balance of pressure without stress within the course of each month.
Thanks for your comment, Penelope. I enjoyed your post . . . and it made me think, which is always good.

Good luck getting the balance right. Keep reading!
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