The United States of stress

The United States of stress

Bottom Line: If you’re stressed out, especially at work on a regular basis, that just makes you normal. LinkedIn’s latest study on workplace stress is in and there’s a 50-50 chance you’re stressed out right now – and it’s not my fault (most likely). According to LinkedIn 49% of all of us are stressed about work on a regular basis. So hey, a certain degree of misery loves company, so you’ve got that going for you. But here’s the thing. How much of this is more about us than the job?

I wanted to take a step back and hit the reset button for a minute. Here’s the definition of stress... 


  • a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.

Adverse or very demanding circumstances... Now let’stake a look at what’s really stressing us out at work. Back to the study. These are the top three stressors:

1. Workload - 70 percent

2. Confidence in job future - 64 percent

3. Sense of purpose / direction - 64 percent

Now here’s my question for you. How much of this is real and how much of this is our own anxiety or of our own making? I’m a big believer in controlling what you can control. So, let’s think about this logically for a moment. If you’re stressed by your workload, is it really that it’s too much or is it that we perceive it to be too much? If you were doing less would you feel like you weren’t busy enough? And would that cause you other forms of stress? 

If you’re lacking confidence in job security, this is one I can really help with... There are only five months in American History with lower unemployment rates than what we have right now. You’re as secure as you’ve ever been in general and if by chance you did have to find another opportunity – you'd be able to do so in near record time. In other words, if you’re stressed about this right now – there's likely never to be a time you won’t be until you’re retired (or dead from stress). Try to let this one go. 

If you’re bugged about your sense of purpose at work... Get over it. Seriously. Life’s full of opportunities. If your work isn’t fulfilling to you – use your free time for that purpose. Here’s a fact of life. Your work will always be less fulfilling day to day – even if you believe in your work - than what you choose to do. This is natural because we have to go to work even on the days we don’t feel like it. Use your work to provide you with the ability to do what you find to be fulfilling.

So, here’s the thing and I’m guilty of this too at times. A lot of this is probably stress of our own making. And if we made the stress – we can ease it too. It’s controlling what we can control.

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