The Coronavirus pandemic is a force multiplier. If something is already out of whack, the pandemic will push it even farther over the edge. Can we agree on that?
Now if we are talking about workplace stress, the pandemic can play a big role in your non-covid related heath issues and even your personality!
The accumulative negative impact of unrelenting stress on health has been pretty well documented
, "Stress has been linked to or can exacerbate various medical conditions, such as asthma, fatigue, back pain, arrhythmias, difficulty breathing, headaches, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, suppression of the immune system, and fluctuations in blood glucose levels in diabetic patients."
So physical health can be compromised but what abut personality? Can work stress actually change the person you are?
According to a Mashable report
titled Constantly stressed at work? It might actually be changing your personality
the answer is yes.
University of Illinois researchers looked at how chronic workplace stress can fundamentally change people’s personalities in both the short and long term.
The researchers assessed this through something called the Big Five model of personality traits. The website SimplyPsychology
describes those traits as: openness,
conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, and extroversion.
“Among these, the most notable that is prone to change is neuroticism.....related to issues such as employee burnout and clinical depression and may downwardly spiral” says Jarvis Smallfield.
In other words, if you’re stressed at work you may become more neurotic, which - you guessed it - makes you more sensitive to stress. The impact on personality can happen fast too, with personality changes showing up in as little as four weeks.
On the flip side, not all workplace stress has a damaging effect. In some cases, the source of the stress could be seen as a challenge to be overcome, leading to a positive sense of success and accomplishment when that happens.
The experts say workers can help protect themselves from the bad affects of stress by framing up their view of workplace problems as simply challenges that are rewarding to overcome.