Stress in the workplace costs UK businesses billions of pounds every year in absenteeism*, and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. In fact, did you know that 1 in 6 people working in the UK suffer from depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress?
Further to this, statistics from the Labour Force Survey 2014/2015* have revealed that 40% of people in the UK described their stress levels at work to be so high that it was making them physically or mentally ill. As a result of this, many people struggle to maintain a happy and healthy work/life balance.
This isn’t to say, however, that pressure on a person is necessarily always a bad thing. Some people would argue that the urgency to get things done has quite a motivating effect on them. After all, companies whose staff are motivated and happy in their job end up having better overall performance, it’s just about finding the right balance.
Good employers will look after their employees who experience stressful situations and offer assistance when it is needed. The support people receive from their employers is vital in shaping how well they are able to cope with any pressure at work. This could be anything from regular meetings to catch up their workload, to just letting them know that they have someone to talk to if they’re experiencing any problems.
A recent study by office supplier Viking Direct has revealed that 1 in 3 people have no one to talk to about work related stress. Furthermore, 46% of people have negative thoughts about their job at least several times a week and 42% feel like they’re under an unpleasant amount of pressure to succeed.
Studies, such as this one, highlight just how important communication and relationships at work are, as well as beckoning the need for more vigilance and better understanding from employers to their staff.
Dr. Mariette Jansen, also known as Dr. De-Stress, is a stress expert, coach, and trainer who believes that stress affects all aspects of our being:
“What I find alarming is that most people accept stress as a fact of life when it isn’t – it’s a choice. When we’re under pressure we produce hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones tire out the body, affect behaviour, emotional processes (mood swings, nervousness) and mental processes (indecisiveness, overthinking).
“Your thoughts eventually become your feelings so the impact of both negative and positive can have a powerful effect.”
Whilst various factors that could affect stress levels may be completely out of your control, there are a few things you can do to help. These include: getting enough sleep, meditating, breathing techniques, listening to relaxing music, and exercise.
The trick to making big changes to your lifestyle is to make little modifications over a long period of time. This way, you will form healthy habits and won’t slip back into the old ones. In the long run, these can end up having a hugely beneficial impact on your psychological well-being and physical health.