Monday, October 1, 2012

Business Stress and its Causes

What is Business Stress?
Business stress is felt during times of conflict, pressure, loss, illness or anxiety. It describes the frantic pace of business life. Everyone reacts differently to stress. Some people can cope and take it in their stride; others find the pressure too much and buckle under. Much of the stress, anxiety, and the sense of overload that people carry is because they feel their lives are out of control. Stress seems to come from the perception that our life feels overloaded.
In medical terms, stress is your body's physical reactions to change, which is not always bad. It is said that a little bit of stress is good for our well-being and exercises our faculties. However today's stress caused by business activity can have a detrimental, psychological or emotional effect on our health.
What Causes Stress?
Business stress is a common result of fear - fear of uncertainty and insecurity. When working within a large company your fear may come from dealing with your boss, or from handling requests from management. It may arise from the uncertainty about your job and what performance expectations are required of you. It manifests itself in the feelings of insecurities that your job may not even exist tomorrow.
Many people experience business stress in large organisations. Often they will look at going into business on their own account, to reduce this workplace stress. Before you can free yourself from workplace-induced stress, you need to identify the source of the stress and explore ways of dealing with it. You cannot attribute stress to the fact that you have a difficult boss or that management do not understand the needs of workers.
Workplace induced stress arises from 2 sources:
  1. Psychological. It is often said that some people are just born worriers and it would be fair to say that there are many people with experience and skills who simply do not fit into the category of true entrepreneurs. That is, they should not be self-employed because their makeup may not handle the stress of looking after their own destiny in business. Some people simply sail through the challenges and pressures that come with being self employed, while others already have chronic fears, insecurities and other anxieties and should seek professional assistance in some areas of their business, or make a decision to get out all together.
  2. External. This comes from the very nature of a competitive global environment. There is no room for mediocre performance and in some industries it is definitely the strong that survive. Stress that comes from within a business organisation may arise from conflicts between employees or from reaction to challenges to the authority of a superior, or it could arise from the lack of cash to pay the bills, or the loss of a contract that a business was depending on.

Do we need Stress in our Lives?The experts tell us that we all need a certain amount of stress in our lives and that the benefit is psychological, mental and physical. This may surprise most of us but they say it is quite true. When you think about it, without stress life would be quite dull and unexciting. Stress adds a bit of flavour, as well as a challenge, and gives one the opportunity to excel, or push beyond the normal limit.
The problem arises when there is too much stress. This can seriously affect the well being of the person involved. The trick is to ensure that whatever stress exists in a business environment, it should be moulded to be beneficial rather than detrimental.
We cannot avoid stress; it is with us from the time we get up in the morning, to the time we sleep at night. As humans, we are involved in activities during the day, which will affect our emotions or wear down our mental or physical abilities.
Stress is unique and personal to each person. What one person finds stressful another finds relaxing. Some people have a very high stress level and perform well under pressure cooker conditions, while others cannot endure even a small amount of pressure.
Excess stress causes physical illnesses such as high blood pressure, ulcers and other types of ailments. One of the best ways to help stress in our lives is to ensure that the body gets sufficient physical exercise, rest, and discipline in the amount and type of foods eaten.