Work stress: what is it and what are its symptoms

Fatigue, lack of energy, tiredness, difficulty concentrating and sadness are some of the symptoms of work stress. Have you ever suffered it? Do you think that at this moment you are going through an episode of work stress? Know what it is exactly, what the consequences are and how it can affect you.

The work stress It is certainly not a new term, over the years it has been given different names such as burn-out or surmanage, among others. They all have stress in common. Let's take a closer look at its definition and how it can be identified.

What is work stress?

Seeing the definition of work stress we find that this is a phenomenon that is becoming more common in the world population. This is a set of cognitive, physiological and emotional responses that they generate in the face of adverse aspects of the organization, content and work environment. In other words, it is a physical or mental reaction to a challenge or change that affects work and that will happen in an environment where professional functions are performed.

Who is affected by work stress?

People can experience the work stress when they feel an imbalance between what the job requires and the resources available to meet those demands. The population at risk are people between the ages of 35 and 45.

The work stress It can originate in that stage of life due to the combination of a personal demand (where there is a load of children, partners) with a level of the labor market that is very competitive. This means that it adds to the personal burden that comes with the pressure of working life.

What are the symptoms of work stress and its consequences?

When faced with a situation of imbalance, the body itself activates the typical processes of stress. This can be a problem when it goes on for a long time. As a consequence, negative feelings and emotions are going to be dominant, overcoming the positive aspects of life. All this in turn will trigger physiological signs and behavioral alterations such as:

Emotionally: boredom, anxiety, aggression, fatigue, guilt, apathy, depression, irritability, short temper, nervousness, shame, sadness, tension, low self-esteem, and a feeling of loneliness.

Thinking: inability to make decisions, not being able to concentrate, frequent forgetfulness, hypersensitivity to criticism, mental blocks, among others.

Behaviour: drug use, lack of appetite, predisposition to accidents, impulsive behavior, excessive eating, drinking or smoking, excitability, inability to rest, emotional outbursts, tremors, speech disturbances and nervous laughter.

At work: poor labor relations, bad organizational climate, poor productivity, antagonism with work, absenteeism, high rates of job change, and lack of satisfaction with job performance.

The consequences of work stress they are directly reflected in the quality of life of those who suffer it, becoming the reason for sick leave on many occasions. The work environment affects many areas of people, such as psychology, relationships, personal and economic life. Even in physical condition.


-Lack or overwork.

– Insufficient work deadlines to complete a project satisfactorily.

-Absence of a clear chain of command or job description.

-Lack of reward or recognition after a good job performance.

-Impossibility to express complaints.

-Have multiple responsibilities but without authority or decision-making power.

-Surrounding yourself with colleagues, superiors or subordinates who do not cooperate or support.

-Little satisfaction in the finished product and not having control over the result.

-Instability or insecurity about the job.

-Exposing yourself to prejudice due to sex, age, race, ethnicity or religion.

-Being a victim of violence, threats or intimidation.

-Working in dangerous or unpleasant conditions.

Tips to prevent work stress

Work stress doesn't have to be permanent or recurring in the staff of a company. There are certain tips that can be applied in the work environment that allow employees to feel more relaxed and fulfill each of their tasks in a satisfactory way. Among them are:

-Respect the lunch space.

-Make parentheses during the work day to stretch the body or distract yourself with something else. Breaks are recommended mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

-Change your body position, walk, stretch your feet, get up. All in order to relax.

-Focus on the tasks achieved and not on what is pending.

Does work stress have a treatment?

As we saw earlier the symptoms will imply a real severity and impairment. Treatment in cases of work stress can be a combination of psychological and pharmacological support. Pharmacologically, we find anxiolytics and antidepressants that can quickly relieve and modify the most acute symptoms that arise.

On the other hand, the therapeutic accompaniment It must be done with the objective of resolving the personality aspects. It is essential that strategies are jointly generated to achieve better job performance.

When is it necessary to attend a consultation for work stress?

All people can have weeks where they are more listless or upset than other days due to difficulties in meeting a demand. The problem actually occurs when these situations are recurring and the symptoms will become independent of the situation. Example, after a tiring week, work slows down, but continues with reluctance or lack of energy. This means that the symptoms have already become independent and the signs of stress are seen. With you get to this point it is good to consult an expert.

Are you so stressed that you can't stop binge eating? In Bioguia we recommend another of our articles that will give you the best tips to stop this impulse with the Mindful Snacking technique.

And you, have you suffered work stress? Let us know in the comments!