Career & Finance

Healthy Stress Needed in the Workplace

Stress shouldn’t be thought of lightly. Chronic stress causes detrimental health issues, which is why it’s crucial to find the source and an outlet for it, as mentioned in our past blog. Keep in mind we need positive stress, called eustress. Here are three examples of healthy stress in the workplace:

  1. Deadlines. Although many would place deadlines on the negative side of stress, it has positive benefits. If you’re constantly on a tight deadline, know that it can help improve mental performance. Research reveals those under steady minor stress will see improvement after two weeks. Although procrastination creates major stress, time management and organization have the opposite effect.
  2. Presentations. Maybe it’s time to present that company change to clients, or inform your co-workers of new policies. Even sharing research with classmates causes consternation. People stress about making presentations due to fear, lack of preparation, remembering negative experiences or forgetting the material last minute, according to the University of Leicester. However, you can use “motivation” to your advantage. A study from the U.S. National Library of Medicine tells us that students who are under stress search for motivation to do well in future assignments. Although the study is aimed toward medical students, it can apply to anyone. As you’re stressing over your material, remember that you’ve worked your way up to present this information as an expert.
  3. Mishaps. If you’ve made a crucial mistake within the workplace, it might seem as if it’s the end of the world, but it’s not. Yes, this will become a short stressful time, but resilience is the key. In 2004, researchers found that individuals with resilience are capable of looking for the silver lining in stressful moments, to overcome and excel. Meaning, if you broke the printer, it may  have been the most embarrassing moment you’ve had at work. Will it follow you around forever? No, because now you know how to use the printer and help  prevent others from making the same error.

These examples of a healthy amount of stress can leave us more than satisfied, if not triumph. Next time we come across a hard time, plan and work through it, but if things begin to feel more than enough, then understand it’s okay to ask for help. Be resilient!


Sharon Schweitzer and Esther Sanchez co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is an award-winning entrepreneur, cross-cultural trainer, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, (3rd printing), was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

Esther Sanchez is a Fall 2017 Cross-Cultural Communication intern with Access to Culture. She is currently attending the University of Texas at Austin as a Journalism major and working to earn a minor in Middle Eastern Studies and a certificate in Computer Science. She plans to use these skills to tell stories through virtual reality from around the world. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Cross-cultural & International Etiquette Expert, Best-selling, International Award-winning Author