When Small Stresses Lead to Big Problems
It's easy to see how big stresses at work or home -- like layoffs, illnesses, or even a complex and important project -- cause anxiety too spike. But sometimes the stresses that cause the most hard are the tiny, everyday ones that build up over time into a much bigger problem because we don't take the time to recognize and manage our reactions to them. Former HBR editor Karen Dillon and Babson College professor Rob Cross studied the most common types of "microstress" and the ways in which they impact individuals, teams, and organizations. They explain why, if left unchecked, microstress can lead to mistakes, burnout, damaged relationships, and poor mental and physical health. But they also offer advice for better handling it -- and helping others to do the same. Dillon and Cross wrote the book The Microstress Effect and the HBR article "The Hidden Toll of Microstress."
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