To Conquer Workplace Stress, See It as a Positive

To Conquer Workplace Stress, See It as a Positive

It’s a new year, and I think we’re all hoping for a more positive year.

Including more positivity at work.

But there will always be stressors at work (and in life); so how can we deal with this better?

Well, what if stress wasn’t all or always bad? What if you could turn it into good?

This Psychology Today article by Bruce Tulgan shows how this is not just possible, but very achievable …


  • Resistance to collaboration and new opportunities is a natural response to chronic stress.
  • By applying one’s stress to the work itself, rather than relationships, it can be turned into a force for good.
  • Leaving one’s current job may only carry poor stress management to a new role or organization.

It is an obvious understatement to say the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in hugely increased amounts of stress for everyone. The current wave of turnover is a reflection of how many people are responding to that stress at work—by eliminating it entirely.

Chronic understaffing, collaboration disruption exacerbated by absences due to illness, and supply chain issues are just some of the contributing factors. To fill the gaps, people are required to take on more tasks and responsibilities. They are overcommitted, without much if any choice in the matter, often accompanied by increasing time pressure from superiors and collaborators. In response, siege mentality sets in: People begin resisting one another in an effort to regain a sense of control.

When we begin perceiving our colleagues as threats to our wellbeing, it’s only natural. In response to stress, our self-preservation instincts kick in. The brain releases cortisol and adrenaline, our heart and lungs work harder and faster. Our mental focus increases as we scan the environment for further stressors to avoid. When stress becomes chronic, that focus transforms into thought distortions, where anything new is perceived as a threat—even the great career opportunities we’ve been hoping for.

One individual’s stress alone can have cascading negative impacts throughout the entire organization. When the work is slowed down, managers become squeezed by the demands of their superiors. Often, they attempt to manage their stress by passing it on to someone else, usually a direct report. This unfair treatment builds resentment down the ranks, sometimes resulting in failures to cooperate or communicate, undermining the team’s goals further. Ambitious individuals or those who closely identify with their work suffer the greatest from these cascading effects, becoming wrapped in worry and preoccupation, further diminishing work performance.

And so, the cycle continues…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE