Managing stress

Managing stressManaging stress is important to know how to control, whether it is due to work or something that is occurring outside the workplace. Not recognising or managing stress may result in you becoming ill, either physically, mentally or both. Your employer has a duty with respect to your health; you must tell your supervisor if you are suffering stress, even if it is related to a situation outside your work.

The charity MIND offers some good advice on stress and stress management.

We all sometimes talk about stress and feeling stressed, sometimes due to people making unreasonable demands or because we feel that we have no control over situations that we are dealing with. Often, it is because we have too much to do and too much to think about and are struggling to juggle the many things we are expected to deal with.

Stress is not a medical diagnosis, but when we have severe stress that continues for a long time, it could result in a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, or more severe mental health problems.

Identifying the things that cause your stress and learning how to handle them better can reduce the effects of stress. Relaxation techniques and other Lifestyle changes can also help.

Change and a lack of control over what is happening are recognised as situations that can cause high stress. Bereavement or serious illness in yourself or someone close can be seriously stressful, but stressful situations are not always sad or bad events; sometimes happy events can cause stress because they bring change or make demands on you, for example, moving house, getting married, or having a baby.

Stress can also occur due to long-term difficult circumstances, such as unemployment, poverty, caring for a disabled family member or friend or difficulties at work.

When people think about stress, they often think it results from too much going on. However, not having enough work, activities, or change in one’s life can be just as stressful as having too much activity and change to deal with.

There is a positive side to stress. A certain stress level may be necessary and enjoyable to help you prepare for something or actually do it.

Where stress is due to the pressure of trying to do too much and having too much work to do, planning can help in making the best use of time for work and other things, including time to relax, time for leisure, exercise and holidays are just as important as spending time on business or worries at home.

Remember that some stress is good for the body and alerts the mind. But it needs to be limited and to be followed by a period of relaxation.

There is no value in stressing over things you cannot change, so try to accept them. Changing your attitude and not allowing things you don’t like but cannot change to cause you annoyance or resentment will help reduce the likelihood of you becoming stressed.