Recognising the Signs: Stress at Work

This Article Was Published On 06-03-2020

stress at work

It’s estimated that 70 million working days are lost to stress in the UK alone every year. No matter what industry you’re in, a demanding workload or emotional overwhelm can cause a pressure pot of emotions that will bring on stress. Equipping yourself and your team with the tools you need to recognise stress symptoms creeping in will mean you can stop stress at work in its tracks. 


Where does stress come from? 


The most common form of stress at work takes place when excessive demands and pressures are put on an individual. Whether it’s a particularly demanding project, a client that needs more support than others, or a toxic working environment, stress at work can take the form of many different shapes and sizes. Understanding how stress at work can manifest itself in your daily life will allow you to make changes to you and your colleague’s lifestyles, before they cause more harm. 


Although we throw the term ‘stress’ around often in our everyday discourse, the consequences of finding yourself in repeatedly stressful situations can be severe. Limited headspace will eventually take its toll on both your mind and body. Particularly in caring professions, when you may face trying circumstances on a regular basis, leaving your work in the office is a lot easier said than done. 

Minding the signs of stress at work 


Stress at work isn’t a one size fits all issue; what some of us perceive as challenging, others will feel overwhelmed by whilst others still will find it energising. Despite this tendency of human nature to treat the situations we come across as entirely unique, there are several physical, behavioural and emotional symptoms of stress at work that can be noted, and will help you and your team support one another in the drive for a stress-free life. 


More often that not, stress at work is not a short term situation that can be coped with; it should be dealt with as soon as possible to avoid a state of burnout being reached. We all handle stress differently, whether it’s through increased irritability, a state of tearfulness or anger, a change in your colleague’s demeanour or attitude to work could be a sign of greater worries and stress at work under the surface. Intuiting these changes in behaviour will help you manage and support your team in the most effective manner. 


How to let go of your inner stressstress at work


Once you’ve recognised the inner stresses that have come to weigh heavy on your emotions, you can dispel them. 


Step back to let go


One of the most simple, yet effective ways to diminish the stress at work you’re feeling is to step away from the situation. 


Change what you are doing


Making a drink, walking round the block or chatting to someone you care about help you defuse the stress at work within your brain, giving you breathing space and time to respond to the situation, rather than simply reacting. 


Change where you are doing it


Move computers if you have been parked in that spot too long, maybe have the meeting outside and let the cooling breeze revitalise you instead of being drained from the cabin fever of a cramped stuffy meeting room increasing the stress load.


Change who you are with


Not everyone is your cup of tea and so if you are noticing that too much time with one particular person is a key stressor for you encourage them to leave by asking them ‘so what are you doing next?’ Let them answer and then watch them head off taking the stressor of their company with them.


Use these simple tools to help you be more and more productive and yet able to head home calmer than ever.


You shouldn’t have to sit through constant stress at work. Training your team to recognise the signs of burnout will have multiple benefits for your entire business. Get in touch with Betterminds to learn more about equipping your team with the skills they need to tackle stress head on.