How many of us have experienced stress at work? More people than you might imagine.
Feeling overwhelmed and close to tears while at work?
Hiding in the loo to regain your composure after a difficult meeting with your boss?
Waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night thinking about your to-do list?
All these, and more are signs of stress. And stress can lead to other issues such as anxiety and depression. So it’s really important to recognise those symptoms.
The Health and Safety at Work website states:
Against a background of little year-to-year change in overall rates of occupational ill health, the proportion of people who reported experiencing work-related stress, depression or anxiety last year rose by 7% when compared to figures for 2015–16, reaching a rate of 1610 per 100,000 workers.
This makes stress the most common form of work related illness for the first time, overtaking musculoskeletal disorders, the rates of which have broadly fallen since the turn of the century.
So according to those figures, Stress has become THE most common reason for people being off work. Which probably means that someone near to you at home or in the office, may be experiencing stress at work. But we all get very good at hiding it.
Let’s be clear here, some stress in our life is good. It motivates us to deliver to timescales and can help us to find the energy for that final push in a race. But when stress starts overwhelming us, that’s when it becomes a problem. Stress can manifest itself in different ways for different people. Panic attacks, feeling of overwhelm, anxiety, fear in the pit of your stomach. Realising that you NEED a drink at the end of the workday. All this together with the worry that your boss may not believe you if you go off sick can all contribute to the feelings of overwhelm and distress.
Stress – how to help?
Firstly – talk to someone. It can help to share our feelings with someone we trust. Telling them what about our feelings is a really good way to start to work out a way forward. The old saying ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’ is as true today as it’s always been.
If the stress is all related to work – be brave and talk to you boss. It may be that there are changes that can be made at work to help you. If your boss is unsympathetic, go to HR or another manager.
It’s a good idea to try to understand what the actual stressors are. Keep a diary for a week or two to help to understand what situations cause the most stress and the responses to those situations.
Once you have an idea about those situations – there may be different ways of responding to them -which will reduce the stress.
Do things you enjoy outside of work. Work is work and should only be a part of our life. It becomes easier to deal with work if we can develop activities outside of work that give us an interest and help us to recharge out batteries. The work/life balance can seem to be much healthier when there are a few more activities to look forward to after the day’s work has ended.
Learn how to relax. Very few of us actually really relax, taking time to switch off can be difficult but can be learnt with practice. If you find the thought of relaxing difficult, I may be able to help. Because hypnotherapy can help us to relax, and can also help us to build the resilience that we need to deal with the everyday demands that life places upon us.
If you or someone you know are struggling with stress, and you would like to know more I’m always happy to have a chat.
Change is possible today