National Stress Awareness Day 2017

Stress Awareness

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your to-do list seems endless, deadlines are fast approaching and you find yourself saying ‘I’m stressed!’ We all deal with stress differently, sometimes you might be able to tell straight away when you’re feeling under stress, but other times you might keep going without recognising the symptoms.

Stress can affect you both physically and mentally, and can affect the way you behave.

What is stress?

It’s hard to pin down exactly what stress means. According to Mind, the mental health charity, there’s no medical definition of stress, and health care professionals often disagree over whether stress is the cause of problems or the result of them.

Stress is primarily a physical response. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing a complex mix of hormones and chemicals.

What are the most common signs of stress?

You may feel:
» Irritable
» Anxious
» A sense of dread
» Uninterested

How you might behave:
» You might snap at people
» Unable to concentrate
» Feeling tearful
» Smoking or drinking more than usual

How you might be physically affected?
» Tired
» Headaches
» Chest pains
» High blood pressure

All kinds of situations can cause stress, anything from problems within your personal life, employment and study, housing and money, these are all factors that can trigger stress.

Stress within the workplace is unfortunately very common, some workplace stress is normal, but excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and performance, and can impact your physical and emotional health. Whatever your ambitions or work demands, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from the damaging effects of stress.

Here are some top tips to help with workplace stress:

Reach out
Sometimes the best stress-reducer is simply sharing your stress with someone close to you.

Make time for exercise
When you’re overly focused on work, it’s easy to neglect your physical health. Make time for regular exercise to lift your mood and increase your energy and make smart, stress busting food choices.

Don’t skimp on sleep
The better rested you are, the better equipped you’ll be to tackle job responsibilities and cope with workplace stress.

Try to prioritise and organise
Create a balanced schedule, leave earlier in the morning, plan regular breaks and don’t over-commit yourself.

Be proactive about your job and workplace duties
Talk to your employer about your stress triggers, after all happy employees are more productive. Clarify your job description or ask for new duties.

If you’re an employer and if you know that your employees are suffering from work-related stress, you will know it can result in lower productivity, lost workdays and a higher turnover of staff. As a manager, supervisor, or employer there are numerous things you can do to lower workplace stress.

It might be worth investing in some training? The Safety Media Stress Management course specifically designed for Managers will teach you what stress is and how it can affect your employees and your organisation.

Course Chapters include the impact of stress, identifying stress, resolving stress and conducting risks assessments.

Download the stress management course description here or contact one of our Health & Safety advisers on +44 (0)1745 535000 for more information.

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