Workplace stress  derives from  many sources.  lt can be a demanding  boss, annoying co-workers, rebellious students, angry customers,  hazardous conditions,  long commutes  and a never-ending workload.  Your work performance  is also affected by stressors  such as family relationships, finances  and a lack of sleep stemming from fears  and anxieties about  the future.  How you  handle the effects of stress  depends on whether it  is easier to  change the situation  or change your attitude toward it.

Time Management

 The positive  side of stress is that  it can jump-start your adrenalin and motivate you to perform your tasks  more quickly in response to impending  deadlines. An overwhelming workload, lack of  peer support  and too  many demands  at once, however, contribute to a  sense of frustration  and panic that there isn’t enough time to complete  the work. According to the authors of “Performance Under Pressure: Managing  Stress in the Workplace,” if these conditions routinely result  in overtime or having to  take work  home, the stress of  being unable to  manage time efficiently  can fuel  employees’ resentment toward the company  as well  as negatively  influence their commitment  and loyalty.

Relationships

 Stress is a major contributor  to job burn-out  and strained interactions with  peers and supervisors, says  Bob Losvyk, author of “Get  a Grip!:  Overcoming Stress and Thriving  in the Workplace.” The combined feelings of helplessness  and hopelessness generate heightened sensitivities to  any and all forms of criticism,  defensiveness, depression, paranoia about job  security, jealousy  and resentment toward co-workers who seem to  have everything  under control, short-fuse  tempers, diminished self-esteem  and withdrawal.

Focus

 Stress affects  your ability to  remember things  you already know, to  process new information you are learning and to  apply both to analytical situations  and physicaltasks that  require concentration. When you are mentally  exhausted from  all of the worries, anxieties and tension brought  on by a stressful environment  or lifestyle, you are more easily distracted  and prone to  make costly, harmful  or even fatal mistakes  on the job.

Health

 ln addition to  headaches, sleep disorders, vision  problems, weight loss/gain  and blood  pressure, stress affects  cardiovascular, gastrointestinal  and musculoskeletal  systems, says Richard Weinstein, author of “The  Stress Effect.” lf you’re not  feeling well, you’re not  going to  do your  best work. Further, the amount of sick leave  taken to  rest and recuperate from stress-related illnesses often  means that  the work only accumulates  during your  absence and,  thus, generates even more stress about  how to catch  up once you return.