What is work/academic stress?

Everybody is familiar with experiencing some form of pressure or tension which causes mental stress. However, sometimes people encounter excessive amounts of stress, and the weight of carrying this strain is too much to bear. Nowadays, there are two prevailing stressors, work stress and academic stress. Work stress refers to worries normally stemming from the inability to meet a job’s requirements. This can be due to limited resources, staff maltreatment, high workload, specific role stressors, employee conflicts and organisational control. Academic stress is feelings of burden due to too many essays/exams, class competition, inferior time management skills, and learning disabilities. Both stressors can be tough to endure, mentally and physically, therefore impeding an individual’s mental health.

What are the symptoms of work/academic stress?

Psychological Symptoms of work/academic stress include:

  • Uncontrollable worry
  • Developing anxiety and depression
  • Feeling agitated/ highly irritable

Behavioural Symptoms of work/academic include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Lower libido (sex drive)
  • Panic attacks/ shortness of breath

Physical Symptoms of work/academic include:

  • Problems with digestion
  • Atypical sleeping patterns
  • Migraines and an inability to concentrate

How to manage work/academic stress:

 Small-scale stress can be motivating, driving an individual’s performance. However, once the amount of stress being dealt with escalates, this impedes functioning and often elicits mental health problems. If an individual is finding it difficult to manage their stress, attending talk therapy is generally beneficial. Essentially, talk therapy stimulates catharsis, therefore alleviating distress through articulating and expressing what is on the mind. By unloading your stress in a non-judgemental and empathetic environment, the psyche immediately feels some relief. A more discrete form of therapy which has been found to relieve stress is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). This method systematically goes through an individual’s experiences, challenging them to feel their emotions thoroughly. By doing so, they acquire the fundamental skills of regulating their emotions. Alternatively Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been also found to ameliorate stress. This is by encouraging and introducing new and useful ways of perceiving stressful events. Overtime, these rationales are adopted into the individual’s frame of mind, reducing their stress in academic and work environments.

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