Stress leads to headaches, mood swings and stomach upsets

Symptoms negatively affect employees' productivity, relationships
||Last Updated: 08/13/2007

Stressed employees are prone to headaches, mood swings and reduced productivity, according to a new survey.

The survey by Multi-Health Systems, the publisher of emotional intelligence assessment Bar-On EQ-I, found 41 per cent of the 1,729 Canadians polled frequently experience stress at work.

This stress leads to a host of problems. More than half (53 per cent) of respondents said they suffer from headaches, indigestion, diarrhea and fatigue or insomnia because of stress.

Stress also causes anxiety, irritability and mood swings in 55 per cent of respondents and 52 per cent said stress makes them impatient, quick to argue and isolated at work.

Stress also affects employees' career development, with 22 per cent of respondents reporting that stress has prevented them from moving up their organization's ranks.

This might be because 56 per cent of respondents said stress negatively affects their productivity, 52 per cent said it affects their relationships with co-workers and 51 per cent said it affects their decision-making skills.

However, employees who have strong emotional intelligence are better able to handle the effects of stress, said Steven Stein, president and CEO of Multi-Health Systems.

A 2002 study, "Emotional intelligence training and it's implications for stress, health and performance" published in

Stress and Health

, found managers who had higher levels of emotional intelligence reported less subjective stress and demonstrated less impact on performance.

"Emotional intelligence training might be a means of reducing stress, thus helping to fuel workplace success," said Stein.

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