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Work stress: the delicate balance between what we do, what we can and what we do


Work-related stress is generally associated with too much pressure, responsibility and demanding work. Also, work environments hostile and precarious, although these statements are true, stress surprises us with another edge since doing something that we like very much in a nice space also can cause it.

How? Firstly, we define as stress adaptive response that makes our mind and body against various challenges proposed by the environment. Such response may result in different resolutions: (feeling of subjective discomfort and exhaustion) distress or Eustress (positive adaptation).

This definition leads us to think in another angle of the topic: the role that keeps the individual factor in generating distress. It is true that life is as one takes it (or as it can do it), that's the same situation that is stressful (in the negative sense: distress) for one person may not be for another (Eustress). Individual components of character and personality play a crucial role in the way of developing the various situations. This is in addition to the context and situational when facing the person that can also affect the response.

Surely someone who is moving or finish college or gone through important changes in your life are more prone to distress than at other times.

And then what can we do? The first thing to consider about the issue is knowing the own limits and help to do this if we have people in charge. Many times, the pressure to achieve goals increases the self-reliance by adding a climate of tension that could be avoided. In other words it is manage and dispense the own possibilities [first] and then help the team also make it.

While we often have the fantasy that certain activities, such as for example the sport, are exempt from negative stress this is not true.

It may many athletes have a career and a life of stars, but that does not exempt them from the effects of negative stress. Let us take an example, the lesion of the Argentine star of basketball's San Antonio Spurs, Manu Ginobilli, who a few days ago suffered a fracture caused by stress after winning with his team the NBA tournament on June 15.

It sounds hard to believe this happened for the second time. Without falling into fatalism the example helps us to understand a little more about the phenomenon of stress, which in final can think of it as the delicate balance between what we do, what we want to do and what we actually can do it. And be aware that when we decided to do more of what we can, this will have a cost for our mind and our body.

That is the constant adaptation to which we are subjected, as more balanced are the 3 areas less Adaptive effort will have to be done, therefore less distress. Synthesis summarizes much of the concept in the Greek aphorism: "Know yourself".

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Written by Elsa Basile. Learning Goals, Issues Debates, Case Studies on Human Capital, Technology, Operations and Management