Is all stress bad?
Whilst we tend to think of stress in a negative way, not all stress is bad. In fact, moderate stress can actually make us perform better, help us to be more alert when public speaking and in interviews; it provides that exhilaration we get when competing in dangerous sports; and it is a survival mechanism when we are faced with dangerous situations, helping us to respond accordingly.
However, when stress is excessive or prolonged, it can lead to illness. It can cause us to become physically and emotionally exhausted and lead to fatigue or anxiety.
There are many factors contributing to the excess stress in our life. Stress in our personal lives can impact our work lives and likewise, stress at work can impact our personal lives.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in 2014/15, work related stress accounted for 35% of work related ill health and 43% of days lost. That is quite a significantly high number of people absent from work due to work related stress and is a cause for concern, considering the amount of time we spend at work every day.
The HSE identified 6 primary sources of stress at work, listed in the table below:
Often times the symptoms of stress can creep up on us and take a stronghold before we even realise it. The signs may be there but because of the busyness, pressures and demands of our roles, the warning signs are sometimes overlooked.