muscle tension in the neck - image courtesy of nytimes-com

Dealing with Workplace Harassment: Stress Headaches and Tension Neck Pains

According to while some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and impact your physical and emotional health. And your ability to deal with it can mean the difference between success or failure. You can’t control everything in your work environment, but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless—even when you’re stuck in a difficult situation. Finding ways to manage workplace stress isn’t about making huge changes or rethinking career ambitions, but rather about focusing on the one thing that’s always within your control: you.

muscle tension in the neck 2


Stress is a killer, and back in those days I often felt like I was in the cross-hairs of an assassin. My migraines were closer than a brother and visited me more often than my so-called friends. The tension in my neck made my shoulder muscles buff and are reminiscent of the days when I used to be a gym rat; not good.

Though I told myself not to worry, I think my body had a different agenda, as it cued into the little bodies telling their own stories in my office; especially those of my horrible boss. So much for being a natural psychologist, who mentally can’t quit psycho-analyzing every thing that crosses my path.

muscle tension in the neck - image courtesy of nytimes-com

muscle tension in the neck – image courtesy of nytimes-com

Back then, my boss was back after being absent for a couple days. Those four days were as peaceful as a newborns sleep. However, we all know that good things must come to an end and Friday morning was the continuation of these stress-filled symptoms in my mortal body.

She didn’t speak to me since I reported her to HR about her harassing and vindictive behavior. She had since stopped speaking to me and started to send emails to our department group email account.

Nonetheless, I was being paid to do a job, and that is what I continued to do.

In the meantime, I tried to figure out how to stop internalizing. My body was reacting to the external and internal stressors.

It was like asking Einstein not to be a genius; almost, impossible. I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins and arteries, when she walked pass. That fight or flight mechanism can be a literal killer if not used, how its meant to be used.

The headaches were common, a daily recurrence. Largely because I cannot physically enact revenge. Only my christian beliefs and spiritual relationship with God prevented me from acting out on these violent temptations.

Every person has their own demon to rein in. This is why people go postal at work, because they are trying to adhere to professionalism but are being driven towards a psychotic break.

There I said it!

Say it ain’t so!

It was like trying to tie 15 tornadoes to a Porsche. No matter how strong, beautiful and powerful the vessel, it will take divine intervention to contain those tornadoes. Hence the tight and tense muscles, tension headaches and interrupted sleep.

Sounds like an ideal setting for depression to step in.

So there I was, at the end of the day, trying to learn how to kill my assassin – STRESS – before it it killed me.



Many people suffer in silence; ridden by stress and abuse. Workplace harassment is a reality. It is abuse just like physical abuse! We should not tolerate it just because someone is paying us every month. I encourage you to rise up and protect yourselves. Report it and stop this immoral occurrence in the workplace.

She has published several books of poetry including ‘Jamaican Honey and Sauce’, Jamaican Pebbles, Love under the Caribbean Stars, 101 Jamaican Love Poems and Jamaican Pebbles: Poetry Pocketbook.

Copyright © 2016, Denise N. Fyffe


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