Stress is tricky. It drives you toward successand makes you feel good about youraccomplishments. Of course, you need stress toreach goals and protect yourself in times ofdanger, but too much stress is tough on your body.

In times of stress, your brain produces steroidhormones that get your body ready for action. Yourheart, lungs, liver, and other major organs play key roles in this stress reaction.

These steroids also affect your digestive, immune,and circulatory systems. Your skin also getsreacts to changes in your circulatory and immunesystems.

Complex neurotransmitters are released, tellingparts of your brain to go into overdrive, creatingfear in the case of danger and storing the eventin long-term memory for future warning.

The neurotransmitters can shut down short-termmemory and reduce your concentration,inhibitions, and rational thought.

Stress-tolerant people control their responses,but they cannot entirely prevent the stressreactions. And this concealment is the reasongood leaders are on the lookout for signs ofexcessive stress.

Savvy leaders understand that stress control istheir responsibility. However, understanding theproblem isn't enough. The solution lies inknowing what to do, how to increase or decreasestress to boost the bottom line.

Just how much do you and your team leaders knowabout stress? Can you identify the physical andpsychological consequences of too much stress?

How about the way stress changes personalities andbehaviors - can you identify a half dozen thingsto watch for? And don't forget about the impactof stress on your bottom line. What is the costof stress in your company?

Assuming you are up to speed on these details, doyou understand the top ten causes of workplacestress and know what to do about each of them?Stress can have a major impact on bothproductivity and profit.

So, back to the question of whether you are inover your head. You are as vulnerable as anyoneelse to negative stress in the midst of yoursuccess, and so are your key people.

Employees who exhibit anxiety, boredom, and angercould be on the verge of making costly mistakes.Those who have headaches, fatigue, diabetes, orulcers are already in need of some stress relief.

Others who hide their stress but have difficultywith over eating, alcohol abuse, or emotionaloutbursts might not even recognize the rolestress plays in these things.

Reactions such as these confirm that stress iscosting you money through absenteeism, accidents,personnel turnover, and other key factors.

The question remains. Are you in over your head?You need the advice of others about your ownperformance because stress can hide itself insuccess and a sense of responsibility. Listen tothem when they alert you to signs of stress inyour own life.

Learn more about the top ten causes of workplacestress and what to do about it. Take my free "SpotStress Mini Course" - three sessions delivered byemail. Request it by email

Author's Bio: 

Dale Collie speaker, author, coach, and former USArmy Ranger, corporate president, and teacher atWest Point. Selected by "Fast Company" as one ofAmerica's Fast 50 innovative leaders. Author of"Frontline Leadership: From War Room toBoardroom," and "Winning Under Fire: Turn Stressinto Success the US Army Way," (McGraw Hill).

Free newsletter