Stand up to Stress
We have all found ourselves in a situation where our to-do list appears to be endless, deadlines are quickly approaching, and you call yourself ‘stressed’ as a result.
But what actually is stress and how does it affect us? The Directory Group explores the growing issue this April which falls on Stress Awareness Month...
Stress is a type of psychological pain; it is a feeling of strain and pressure. Small amounts of stress may be desired, beneficial and even healthy to the human body.
Stress is primarily a physical response. When the body is stressed it is under attack and switches to what the Stress Management Society label as the ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing a range of hormones and chemicals like adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol to prepare the body for physical action. As a result, a number of reactions are triggered, from blood being diverted to muscles to shutting down unnecessary bodily functions such as digestion.
Identifying stress is important to ensure we do not ‘burn the candle at both ends’.
In 2016/17 there was around 526,000 workers who suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing). This averaged at around 12.5 million working days lost across the period assessed. These statistics released by the Labour Force Survey do not conclude stress is always related to work, as it can be caused due to personal circumstances.
We are surrounded by so much in which we can be a part of. However, it is vitally important you understand your limitations and prevent yourself from ‘overdoing it’.
Stress also affects young people. According to Anxiety UK, an average of 1 in 6 youngsters will experience an anxiety problem caused by stress at some point. Many of those will develop symptoms of depression.
Preventing stress can be achieved when considering a number of different factors: taking care of your health, sleeping well, practising deep breathing, moving more, staying hydrated, limiting the use of technology and learning to say no.
It’s time to take ownership over your health and also support others’ who may require it.
Remain aware on the health consequences stress can have on your mental and physical wellbeing and, when signs of negative stress appear, do something about it. Support and advice on stress may be found at: www.nhs.uk