A study by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute found that nearly half of U.S. employees feel Overstressed –overworked or overwhelmed at least some of the time and 70 percent say they often dream of having a different job.
This study suggests that many American employees are over stressed and at or near the burnout point.
Overstressed is Not Normal
It’s deemed as a regular part of life; so common and inescapable we readily accept it. But it’s vitally important to know that some stress is acceptable but continuous is unacceptable. The stress that is bad for you is only bad if you are bad at managing it.
Modern society no longer poses any physical or life-threatening dangers. The saber-tooth tigers are gone. Modern-day stress triggers are not life threatening but our stress response kicks in as designed. Rush hour traffic, long lines, leaving work but not the workload, 24-hour email… all this triggers our stress response as if it were a saber-tooth tiger charging. The fight or flight response was not meant to be activated throughout the day. Chronic stress results when our stress response is overused.
We are not equipped to handle long-term, chronic stress and it shows. People who feel stressed are more likely to neglect themselves, forgo sleep and become less productive and feel less successful.
At work stress can affect the bottom line. Stress leads to more stress and increased health care costs ensue because of the physical and emotional tolls on team members. Absenteeism, turn over, the cost to train new team members all take away from productivity, effectiveness and efficiency.
For the individual, chronic stress brings you close to the edge of a cliff and other factors such as lifestyle and family history can push you over the edge. This is burnout.
If you’re not managing your stress, your stress is managing you.