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Stress at work is good, apparently... sometimes

Stress at work is good, apparently... sometimes

Stress at work is good, apparently ... sometimes

This all depends on the mindset of the individual:

"For employees with a positive stress mindset, there was an association between expecting a larger workload and taking more proactive steps to cope... But for those with a negative stress mindset, this association was reversed"

So says the article 'What's your stress mindset?' at digest.bps.org.uk

I've radically shortened that paragraph from the original source as I really want you to want to read the full article. It talks about a recent study at the University of Mannheim led by Anne Casper, where it was shown that stress wasn't so much the pivotal factor in motivation and energy levels at work but more so the mindset the individual has towards stress. 

"Casper and her colleagues said their new results show the benefits that could come from raising people’s awareness of the concept of stress mindset. Promisingly, they said there is some evidence that people can be helped to develop a positive stress mindset."

Read the article on The British Psychological Society website be clicking here


One of the things I appreciate about these BPS article is the critical thinking approach: towards the end of the articles there is generally an evaluation of the data where caveats and limitations are acknowledged. If I could make an additional recommendation to anyone studying at DPG it is to look at how they do this to evaluate any research they present. As students, having the ability to do this can make a huge difference to the standard of your submissions.


P.S. Another thing I noticed is that, when I used the word 'stress' to search for an accompanying image to this post, almost all the images depict stress as a negative thing. Should that now change?

There were also a lot of images of fidget spinners, but let's not go there.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

Gary is an Online Learning Consultant working at DPG.

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  • This is really interesting and has really got me thinking - to me having a positive stress mindset is in itself parallel with having an 'action coping strategy' built in?  I've studied stress in the context of aviation and human factors, where stress, workload and the management of these are critical for safe operations.  I think one of the factors which needs to be incorporated into this theory is the fact that a proportion of stress that an individual may have, is likely to be unrelated to their work - there are many life stressors which are unavoidable, and with a sometimes significant portion of an individual's mental capacity already consumed by these stressors, I wonder if is then already much more difficult to assume a 'positive stress mindset' and apply that in the work context.  Compartmentalising the two 'areas' i.e. work and home is a possible option, but perhaps more challenging than it seems - and if we move away from pilots and consider other roles where an individual is working remotely (from home) - then the separation of work and home is considerably more blurred.  

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