Work Stress: The Three Most Dangerous Effects

Work stress: the three most dangerous effects

Most of us have daily work deadlines to meet. When these exceed our possibilities – or so we perceive them – we begin to suffer from work stress.

This disorder does not necessarily have negative effects on our psychological health, as long as it is episodic and of short duration. In fact, we have adaptive mechanisms (the so-called coping strategies ) that allow us to face challenges and requests.

If the pressure, however, is prolonged over time, a burnout effect is produced and the resources in our possession stop functioning and being adaptive. In other words, the mind enters a phase of attrition accompanied by a series of symptoms of work stress; we freeze and we can no longer exploit our coping or adaptation strategies because the psychological system is “burned”.

Burnout syndrome  or work-related stress exhaustion is very common in our society. About 60% of patients who resort to psychotherapy also experience a high level of work-related stress. Indeed, as therapy progresses and the patient improves, it is necessary to work with stress management and control strategies.

If this is not done, the changes will not be maintained  and the effects will recur. The patient’s clinical picture, therefore, will again be negative. To raise awareness of this problem and to try to prevent it, today we are talking about the 3 most dangerous effects of work-related stress.

Woman with work stress

Main effects of work-related stress

Problems with concentration and memory

Among the main effects of work-related stress we find neuropsychological wear and tear; it involves some degree of impairment of cognitive functions such as attention, reasoning, memory and decision making.

Why does stress affect cognitive function? The reason lies in the continuous and prolonged performance of supervisory and monitoring tasks by our mind  due to work overload and the need for control.

Another effect of work stress is the reduced ability to maintain attention or concentration. The most common case occurs when, driven by a high level of stress, one acquires the habit of carrying out more than one task at a time. This is the work dynamic known as multitasking.

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