Work stress? You're not alone, CDC says

Our society is obsessed with quick fixes. Well, if there were any, our weight, happiness, and stress levels would be getting better instead of worse.

Steve Tobak

If you could push a button to lose weight, would you do it? Sure you would. That's why diet and nutrition crazes are so popular.

If you could take a pill and improve some part of your physique or become smarter, would you take it? Of course. That's why we see so many ads on TV and the Internet for that kind of crap.

What? Too smart to believe a pill can really do those things? That's cool. How about signing up at the local health or fitness club. Or buying self-help books. We're joining clubs and buying books in record numbers. But we're still not getting any thinner or happier.

Our society is obsessed with quick fixes. But that doesn't change the sad fact that quick fixes don't work. And nowhere is that more evident than in the workplace.

According to a publication from the Centers for Disease Control's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health called "Stress...at Work": "The nature of work is changing at whirlwind speed. Perhaps now more than ever before, job stress poses a threat to the health of workers..."

The report goes on to quote a number of studies:

According to Northwestern National Life, 40 percent of workers report their job is "very or extremely stressful" and one-fourth of employees view their jobs as the No. 1 stress in their lives.

According to the Families and Work Institute, 26 percent of workers report they are "often or very often burned out or stressed by their work."

According to a survey by Yale University, 29 percent of workers report they feel "quite a bit or extremely stressed at work."

The data is sobering, if not downright depressing.

Steve Tobak

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are currently about 146 million workers in America. That means at least 40 million of you are really stressed at work. Is it comforting to know you're not alone? No? Then you're probably not going to like this either. There's no quick fix. If there were, you'd all be doing it and the numbers would be going down instead of up. I mean, that's what a quick fix is, right? Quick.

Still, there is hope. The technology industry employs a technique called the scientific method. We postulate ideas--based on observation--then test them to see if they're true. A painstaking, iterative process, to be sure. But it works. When you troubleshoot problems with your computer and other gadgets, you're employing the same method, although you might not realize it.

You can employee the same logical methods in resolving the workplace issues that are stressing you out. But first you have to give up the quick fixes and make a real commitment to deal with and resolve your issues. You can't just go through the motions.

You can start by checking out these posts to see if any of the subjects resonate with you. No, they're not quick fixes, but as I said, there really aren't any. These posts offer insight and methodical steps that will set you on the right path.

1. Are you creating your own workplace stress?
2. Recognizing and preventing burnout
3. How are you doing?
4. Dealing with workplace conflict
5. How to manage a crisis, any crisis
6. The back-to-work blues
7. Conquering your fear of public speaking
8. Why you need to take risks
9. The secret to finding a great job
10. Do you have a dysfunctional workplace?

Bottom line
When you're trying to deal with workplace issues, the three most important things to realize are:
1. Nobody has all the answers.
2. There are no quick fixes.
3. By employing an intelligent, methodical approach, you can get to the bottom of whatever it is that's stressing you out and can initiate changes that will help.

Trust yourself; you can do this.

 

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