Stress at work – what you can do

Did you know that stress is the number 1 cause of absenteeism in the workplace?

In fact, Yahoo reported on a very interesting study conducted in the UK, finding that “stress has now overtaken the common cold as the main cause of workplace absenteeism, with a cost to the UK economy of £9.6bn per year, according to the Health and Safety Executive”.

What is causing all this stress?  In the article it states:

“If the impact on the economy is damaging, the affect on the individual can be devastating. Research suggests stress may be linked to everything from anxiety and depression to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and even cancer.

So how much stress is too much, why are some people more affected than others, and what can you do to ensure your health doesn’t suffer?

Understanding your relationship with stress
Pressure isn’t necessarily a bad thing – in fact a little workplace pressure can be a good thing, says Professor Stephen Palmer of the Centre for Stress Management.

‘With the right amount of pressure we will work effectively, feel creative, alert, stimulated and decisive – and look forward to the challenges of the workplace,’ says Professor Palmer. ‘But if we are stressed we can feel overloaded, anxious, irritable, exhausted and burnt out.’

The first step is to recognise what a healthy level of stress is for you and have coping strategies in place before your pressure gauge goes into the red.

The symptoms of stress can vary but typically include a racing heart or palpitations, headaches or migraine, sweaty palms, a dry throat, upset stomach, inability to think straight, irritability and difficulty sleeping – along with general aches and pains.

Taking positive action
With the risk of redundancy, few of us want to be seen as ‘not coping’ but if you do nothing about it, the problem is only likely to get worse.

You can help yourself by adopting positive behaviour.

One way is to take frequent short breaks to re-center and relax. You can listen to authentic, spontaneous natural sound. I recorded this short musical gift for you today so that you can relax, where ever you may be. It is a soft crooning lullaby, meant to soothe your inner anxiety and stress so that you can continue your day in a more relaxed and empowered way.

Where could you use some soothing today?

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