Are you stress aware?


So it’s great that you find yourself at a place where you feel in control, most things are going well in your life – you’re basically on a roll!

However, there are many who are not as lucky as you are. They may be team members, colleagues or staff you manage at work. There is an ever increasing pattern of people living with anxiety, stress -related illnesses and depression.

What are the causes and how can you help?

In the workplace, there is now constant pressure for enhanced performance with less time. With reduced resources, the boundaries of jobs are not as clear. There is also a trend for more bullying behaviour resulting in sometimes toxic and damaging insecure work environments. Add to that personal challenges with relationships, lifestyle and possible time away from home and it can all become too much.

As a result, many staff who are conscientious and have high expectations of themselves plunge into a vicious circle of self-criticism, self-blame and feel guilty thinking that they are not giving their best. These feelings can be exacerbated if that person is not self-protecting enough. For some, success at work also plays too much of a role in their self-identity. Put all of this together and an internal revolt can be created. People feel overwhelmed and out of control. Anxiety grows together with an inability to relax and sleep well. The downward spiral then continues resulting in less energy, feeling less resilient, anger and frustration, being less decisive and eventually depression.

How can you keep an eye out for early signs? Here’s a quick list:

Pained facial expressions
More withdrawn
Frustration, irritability
Reduced concentration resulting in uncharacteristic mistakes
Less coherent
Less focused, more reactive
More emotional
Intense, panicky.

We all know about some of the things that can help us. It’s that magical combination of exercise, enough relaxation, a good diet, enough sleep and supportive relationships and social interaction. In fact one study recently showed that even the briefest social interactions with strangers results in a much higher level of well-being than ever thought.
Ultimately though, it’s whatever is right for that person as we all have different ways of relaxing and social preferences.
How can we help people experiencing stress? Some may be reluctant to open up and we have to gauge their readiness, but coaching type conversations can be a good way forward.

These should be:

Checking on how people are
Developing trust
Conversations about managing workload
Encouraging balance
Being supportive
Fully hearing what people’s concerns are.

Ultimately people need to have a strong sense of their status, feel safe, know that matters are dealt with in a fair manner and importantly have a good level of autonomy.

‘People who believe they have the power to exercise some measure of control over their lives are healthier, more effective and more successful than those who lack faith in their ability to effect changes in their lives.’
Albert Bandura

At Result CIC, we put the focus firmly on individuals finding the balance in their lives to create more stable conditions for themselves to feel happier and more content. See the ‘Lower my stress’ and ‘self-coaching’ questionnaires available free to download and use below.



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