Endangerment by mental stress

Often underestimated, because this burden is not always obvious. Over- or understrain as well as mobbing are difficult to grasp, but very serious dangers.


The whole day always only a very specific, simple activity to carry out or perhaps only a simple hand movement is called monotony. At some point, the activity is fully automatic, so that you can no longer perceive it at all. The brain switches to sleep mode, so to speak. In the long run this can lead to a serious illness, not only of the affected body parts, joints, but also of the psyche.

The social environment

[Translate to Englisch:] Figur im Regen © CC0

Wherever people interact with each other on a daily basis, social interaction takes place. Sometimes it works better, sometimes less well. And our brain seems to be constantly becoming independent and starts wild speculations.

Strangely enough, shame often prevents us from saying things that concern us. To bosses and colleagues. That's not easy either, especially if you are in a relationship of dependence, as for example with superiors.

Often pressure is built up by high workload, intentionally (then one already speaks of mobbing or bossing) or unintentionally, because simply a lot of work has to be done and there are only a few who can do the work, for example you.

Such situations often lead to an "inner resignation" or long-term illness and often to an addiction or burnout. Not a fashionable disease, but a serious depression.

But how do you determine the psychological strain, how can you measure or prove it? Do you even want to admit that? Bullying, even among colleagues could become even worse and in the end you lose the job necessary for life.

The way out of hopelessness

[Translate to Englisch:] Tastatur Ausweg © Pixabay.com Lizenz

It doesn't help anything! The only way out of this seemingly unsolvable dilemma is first a good portion of courage and then a conversation with confidants. And that's what we have at the university! You will be helped. And you won't hear the advice "then just change the job" which is often used by many experts!

After that, there are various design approaches available such as:

Between colleagues

  • Change task distribution
  • Ensure a clear distribution of tasks and roles
  • Create degrees of freedom in terms of time and content
  • Set achievable goals
  • Schedule regular team meetings
  • Promote open communication and conflict resolution, address and resolve conflicts promptly, offer training, possibly create guidelines for good cooperation or service agreement "anti-mobbing
  • Inform employees about changes and involve them if necessary
  • Promote mutual esteem
  • Review team climate, enable group moderation or coaching, change group composition

Or between superiors and employees

  • Review workflow and organization
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities, avoid multiple allegations
  • Promoting open communication and cooperation
  • Implement systematic personnel selection and development for management positions
  • Create leadership guidelines
  • Introduction of regular staff appraisals

Demand such approaches!

Stress prevention

High demands at work and in private life and constant time pressure stress. Once the "power reserves" have been exhausted, it is often difficult to know how to meet all expectations and health can quickly start to waver.

To prevent this from happening in the first place, the Healthy University supports you with various offers to take relaxing breaks and recharge your batteries in your everyday university life.

Risk assessment

[Translate to Englisch:] Cartoon © Pixabay.com Lizenz

Psychological stress in the workplace is an essential factor in risk assessment, but it is also the most difficult to measure. Exposure is not measurable like noise or chemicals. There are no limit values, and therefore none that can be exceeded.

The dilemma is: Your supervisor(s) must objectively prepare the risk assessment for your workplace and also indicate whether there can be psychological stress there. Without bad intentions - he or she sees the situation from a different angle, which is not in line with your feelings.

In 2016, the University of Konstanz interviewed its professors, scientists and staff in order to identify mental stress and to identify important fields of action. The "Bielefeld questionnaire", which corresponds to the guidelines of the Joint German Occupational Health and Safety Strategy of the National Occupational Health and Safety Conference, was selected as the survey instrument. Details can be found on the Healthy University website under the following link.


The following links lead you to the pages of the BAuA, the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. You will find very detailed information on the various hazard factors, legal regulations and rules as well as important occupational health and safety measures.