Can Work Stress Actually Be Good for You?

work stress
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When is work stress good? When it’s upping your game, a study in the International Journal of Stress Management suggests.

The American Psychological Association says that common sources of work stress include low salaries, excessive workloads, and a lack of control in job-related decisions among employees. But some of the roots of work-related stress can be beneficial. Trying to navigate tough deadlines at work can even make you try to power up your productivity. When it comes to workplace performance, often workloads and deadlines produce important incentives to drive employees.

Picture being under the gun on a project. Pressure can drive efficiency. Now you’ve got momentum, and everything is coming together. The key is focusing on the rewards despite the hassles, and taking ownership or staking out autonomy. If it’s not coming easily, make a list of the positives of completing the stressful task.

But it’s also important to realize that not all stress is good for you. In fact, much of it isn’t. The researchers acknowledge there’s bad stress—unreasonable deadlines, workplace harassment, a boss who’s a monster—but we’re not sure making a list will fix that.

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