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How do you know if you're experiencing work-related stress?

How do you know if you're experiencing work-related stress?

Work-Related Stress

The only good news about stress is that the levels of stress can be measured. Scientific methods to test stress include the use of the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, study changes in blood pressure and galvanic skin response to test stress levels and changes in stress hormone levels. There are also tools to test the burnout levels at work place that help self-evaluation of work burnout telling us how we feel about our job and work place experiences. Most of them are based on scoring from a questionnaire.  The SMHAI online stress test, though not intended for diagnosis, is yet another test that helps self evaluation of stress. It is based on simple psychiatric concepts like the time we have for hobbies, outings, late night workload, confusions, lack of role clarity, reluctance, depression, anger, frustration, loss of confidence, loss of libido and irritability.

Regardless of the type of test, it's important to evaluate if you're experiencing work-related stress.  Ask yourself if you're feeling any of the following bullet points...if you are, seek out help before you become too overwhelmed.

Possible Stress Indicators


  • anxiety
  • irritation
  • anger
  • feeling flustered
  • feeling that things are hanging over you
  • poor concentration and difficulty making decisions
  • headaches
  • palpitations
  • hot flushes
  • dry mouth
  • lump in the throat and shaky hands
  • problems with sleep
  • tearfulness
  • depression or feeling suicidal
  • chest pain
  • problems eating or swallowing
  • diarrhoea or constipation
  • worsening of skin or breathing conditions 
  • loss of sex drive 


Common feelings that lead to stress at work

Stress at Work is another test that tells you the impact of stress based on the feelings and frustration, and the results are graded as low risk, medium risk and high risk based on numerical scores.


  • I don't know what's expected of me
  • My colleagues seem unsure about what my job is
  • My boss and I have differences of opinion
  • Different projects and tasks are often unrelated
  • I lack belief in management
  • I am expected to break off one task to a start a new one
  • My department and other departments are in conflict
  • I get negative feedback
  • Decisions that affect me are taken without my knowledge
  • I have to accept decisions without being given an explanation
  • I have to take part in meetings unrelated to my work
  • I hide my real opinions in meetings
  • I have too much to do and too little time to do it
  • I don't have enough to do
  • I feel over qualified for the work I do
  • I feel under-qualified for my work
  • The people I work with have a different educational background (subject, attainment level) from me
  • I have to use other departments to get my work done
  • I have unresolved conflicts with my colleague
  • I don't get personal support from my colleagues
  • I spend more time dealing with small problems than planning
  • The people I work with have a different personal backgrounds
  • Personal relationships with my colleagues get in the way of work
  • I don't get any performance coaching
  • My work doesn't give me the chance to demonstrate my skills
  • My work seems meaningless