Stress in the UK affects one in five of the working population, as stated on the Stress Management Society, from new recruits to board of directors and is costing employers £1.24bn annually.
In 2013/14, a total of 11.3 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. Stressed individuals are only able to work to 60 per cent of their productivity, with knock-on effects to their friends and colleagues. So what are the possible impacts of stress, and how can it be dealt with?
The impact of stress
In many instances, many of us will fail to acknowledge the signs our body gives us if we are stressed. When we are overwhelmed, our wellbeing is threatened and our fight-or-flight response kicks in.
Cat Williams, from Stay Calm and Content, mentioned common signs can be an increased heart rate or production of sweat, quicker breathing, and often feeling agitated with the inability to concentrate or sleep. “You may also find yourself snapping at other people, being more self-critical or more impatient and argumentative with others.”
Working under excess stress will impact your efficiency, decision making and creativity, meaning that your overall productivity will be disadvantaged. “Working under constant stress is dangerous,” says life and business coach Rasheed Ogunlaru, “and typically means that you are only working to 40-60 per cent of your capacity.”
In many instances, relationships at work and at home suffer because of stress, often burning bridges by causing unnecessary tension. Becoming snappy and impatient with others can be a dangerous side effect of stress.
Misconception of stress
If you’re working in a stressful job on a daily basis, you often ignore the signs of stress your body signals. Health and wellness expert, Tiffany Cruikshank, says “typically the body starts to bypass those sensations or reminders of stress, although this doesn’t mean that we don’t experience the effects of stress on our body or on things like our sleep, digestion, headaches or internal health in general.”
Another problem is that we tend to believe that there is an ideal time for us to relax, such as when our workloads lighten or when our diaries are less hectic. The truth of the matter is, life never really slows down. So what can you do to lower your stress levels?
1) Acupuncture points
If you’re looking for an instant release of tension, Neil Shah the chief de-stressing officer at The Stress Management Society, advises to gently rub or press the acupuncture points which can be found on either side of the bridge of your nose, around your eyes, soles of feet and fists. This simple and subtle technique makes it easy to do at any time whether you’re reading a report, in a meeting or travelling.
Continue reading on page two for more tips…
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