We all bring our personal experiences and attitude at work. Employees and managers find it easier to work with each other if they can take and receive feedback constructively. A lot of times we struggle to manage these relational needs with the needs of power, recognition and appreciation, leaving behind any collaborative efforts to meet the team or organizational goals.

Stress is a natural human emotion that kicks in during a threatening situation. Adrenaline rushes in, the unnecessary physiological systems shut down, and we get to work. In the corporate sphere, when you get stressed about meeting a deadline or confirming a deal, you generally forget your hunger and sleep and become proactive towards the job at hand. But when that very stress becomes crippling, occurring due to the smallest of reasons, that is when things become detrimental. Continued stress is the starting point of mental health conditions like GAD or depression and over time, leads to physical ailments like heart diseases, Alzheimer’s, and so on.

Possible external causes of stress at work

  • A difficult boss

    There is a popular saying that people generally do not change their jobs, they change their bosses. If your supervisor continuously breathes down your neck, micromanages you at every instant, flips out on you at the slightest of deviations or merely holds a grudge against you, all of these can make your job really stressful.

  • Insecure environment

    Frequent lay-offs, unreasonable transfers, or mistreatment of employees raise doubts regarding job security. This directly stresses you out regarding losing your job and having to start over.

  • Thankless management

    Appreciation at work is a human need. You will need incentives, autonomy, and promotion to feel that you are doing a good job. However, if the management is autocratic, merely concerned about getting the job done and not caring about employees, the unfulfillment of your appreciation needs will lead you to stress.

  • Discrimination

    Office politics and favouritism are common aspects of any job. Without the slightest regard of your potential, the company may promote your peer owing to discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, community, and so on. This, again, happens without any fault of yours and hence, is an external cause of your stress.

Potential internal causes of work stress

  • No job satisfaction

    Monotony leads to boredom and boredom leads to restlessness. The very fact that you will have to do that same dead-end job may make you lose your sense of purpose and throw you into disarray. Switching the job can become stressful here as you might be sacred of unemployment.

  • No work-life balance

    Difficult jobs come with their own taxing demands. And that is when family time can start to suffer. Humans stay emotionally well when their social life flourishes and any imbalance in that can result in burnouts and stress.

  • Isolation

    The social aspect works in the job as well. Everyone needs to connect and interact with their colleagues to have an amicable work life. However, a judgemental attitude or social anxiety or lack of interpersonal skills can lead to isolation, resulting in loneliness and excess stress.

  • Spillover from personal life

    An unhealthy relationship at home with any member or some personal crisis can also lead to work stress. Regular conflicts with family members can lead to a loss of focus in your job and can make you counterproductive.

  • Low on self-confidence

    This factor will have a direct impact on your overall ambitions, the capability to work with your colleagues, being self-driven, or setting work boundaries. Naturally, your achievements at work will suffer and you can soon become stressed.

  • Unrealistic expectations

    It is common to expect an untimely raise or an exciting opportunity. But when that gets broken, it may lead to disappointment. Unrealistic expectations arise from the lack of capacity to accept reality and they do cause stress among many.

How can therapy help?

  • Set clear boundaries at work

    This will help you maintain your work-life balance by learning to say no and controlling your ambitions. You will naturally become more assertive, confident, and productive at work.

  • Get over your social anxiety

    Learn what makes you averse to talking with new people and slowly uprooting them from your system. Then, gradually deal with your anxieties with the therapist and become better at conversations, enhance presentation skills and work on interpersonal abilities.

  • Learn that unemployment is real

    And many people face lay-offs. Know your alternatives, search the market and trust your skills. Avoid feelings of low self-worth and financial distress by dealing with your insecure emotions with your therapist.

  • Acquire conflict management skills

    By gradually learning better ways to deal with conflict, you can tackle the struggles of both your work and home. You can avert personal life spill over into your work and have better relationships with your colleagues.

  • Bring back your motivation

    Reconnect with yourself and find out other sources of bringing satisfaction. Invest in self-care if your job is monotonous and search for new challenges in the organisation.

  • Deal with your boss better

    Pinpoint the exact causes of conflict and find out what all you can do to deal with your tough boss. Learn to take a stance and hold your ground.

How to deal with work stress?

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