Stress Awareness

Image Credit: ALON; Worried!

Stress is an increasingly common mental health problem that affects individuals both inside and outside of the workplace. Stress seems to be overlooked as it’s now an integral part of our day-to-day lives, but many are unaware of the long-term implications that stress can have on the body and mind. It’s therefore essential that individuals take effort to identify their own causes and triggers of stress before finding ways in which they can be managed.

Generally, stress can be described as the body’s response to the demands and extensive pressure put on our lives and bodies. This can be caused by anything from succumbing to large amounts of pressure to not having enough activities or change in your life – with signs of stress ranging from feelings of anxiety and aggression to a lack of interest in daily life. In an age that embraces the advancement of technology and seeks to develop more ways of living a largely digital-based life, many believe that the ‘good’ side of the internet makes us smarter – but what about the bad side? Fake news on social media, being bullied online and exposing our eyes to the glare from screens on a daily basis are proving to have negative effects on our mental and physical health – ultimately causing stress.

In response to this, the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) run a Stress Awareness Day each year to raise awareness of stress and its impacts whilst reducing the stigma surrounding it. They also aim to promote the importance of wellbeing and stress reduction for individuals and organisations. This year, ISMA have specifically chosen to focus on the theme ‘Does Hi-Tech cause Hi-Stress?’, which looks at the effects that computers and the internet are having on our health.

In order to action this, ISMA have set up a programme of events that individuals and workplaces can get involved in, including international online seminars, interactive conversations, social media events and access to expert advice.

Employers are encouraged to get involved, with the aim to reduce stress and regulate wellbeing in their workplace. Mind, the mental health charity, is asking employers to create a ‘Stress Awareness Space’ in their office in which workers can talk about their triggers of stress and ways in which they manage them. Sharing this kind of information can help others to gain new ideas of stress management whilst also putting their own triggers into perspective.

Stress awareness training courses are also available to workplaces, as well as booklets containing information about stress management – as created by the Mind charity. These are great ways to inform employees about ways in which they can reduce their daily stress levels to improve their quality of life both in and outside of the workplace.

A build-up of stress can lead to fatigue and lack of motivation. A simple way of reducing stress in the workplace is to incorporate fun games for employees to enjoy, such as table tennis – or alternatively, organising a fun day out. It’s also a good idea to create an area in which employees can sit in silence to unwind or meditate – this can be as simple as a comfy chair in a quiet room with some relaxing books.

To discuss how you can reduce stress in your workplace, please do get in touch with us via email [email protected] or call 01386 751740.