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Research commissioned by Mind recently identified work is what people found the most stressful factor and one in three people (34%) stated that their work life was either very or quite stressful.


Over 2,000 people were surveyed and found that workplace stress has resulted in 7% (rising to 10% amongst 18 to 24 year olds) having suicidal thoughts and one in five people (18%) developing anxiety.


People under stress often take alcohol and drugs to cope and almost three in five people (57%) say that they drink after work and one in seven (14%) actually drink during the working day to cope with workplace stress and pressure.


Some other coping mechanisms people stated were smoking (28%), taking antidepressants (15%), over the counter sleeping aids (16%) and prescribed sleeping tablets (10%).


Stress is preventable but many people do not accept that they are stressed.   Stress is due to a build up of excessive pressure when an individual is unable to cope with that pressure.


Consider what is causing your stress – this could be noise, too hot, too cold or it could be an individual, a partner, relative, manager, or colleague.


Investors in People carried out a poll of 2,261 adults, and found that 39% of UK employees said that their stress levels are higher now than a year ago. Only 29% said that their  employer was doing anything to help them deal with the additional stress.   43% noted increased stress levels due to a lack of confidence in management,

and just 5% found an increase in support from their managers during the recession.


It is time for employers to take action and realise that stress is a significant problem within the workforce.   


10 Tips to de-stress when you are at work


1. Identify the cause(s) of stress within the work or home environment.

It is important that you identify what is causing your stress - is it a work colleague, are you taking everything out of perspective or is it something at home which is affecting your work?

2. Ensure that breaks and lunch breaks are away from the computer

As a routine take your morning break and lunch time break in a staff area or in the dining room or even go out to a park. It does make you feel much better and prepared for work more effectively.

3.  Try not to have music on all the time

Listening to music is good sometimes but it is often better to concentrate without music and it will also help those about you. Not everyone likes the same music.

4.  Any constant noises should be reduced, if possible

Constant noise can be very stressful so try and reduce talking too much to others round about you. A gentle reminder to your colleagues to say that you are trying to concentrate and this should help for a short time. Go to a quiet area for a short time and if you don’t have one, try working from home for a day if this is possible.

5. Communicate effectively to all

So often we can say something and it is taken out of context. Make sure when you are communicating that you use the right words and the right means even if you type an email and leave it as a draft until the next day. It is not a good idea to write in haste when you could be upset.


6. Take about 8 glasses of water

Our body needs at least 6-8 glasses per day as experts say and this is to help reduce headaches and can help the immune system. Some experts dispute this and it is important to drink fluids such as tea and fruit juices. More


7. Healthy eating such as fruit and vegetables daily

Fruit such as apples or pears can make a great snack whenever you feel like a snack no matter what time of the day it is. Vitamin C is reduced when under stress, so it is important to increase intake.


A healthy snack such as fruit or a low fat fruit yogurt or a smoothie not only helps to keep the hunger pangs at bay but is also your 1 of 5 fruit and vegetable that you will be eating. More


8. Talk to a friend or someone if you are feeling stressed

It always helps if you can talk to someone whether it is someone you know or through a support group. It is amazing how this can help some people but for others it is not so helpful.


If you have no support, then a way to help is to write down all those things that are causing you to worry and this can actually help to relieve the pressure. Try making a list of what you can control and a list of what you cannot control. The list you can control write down in order of priority and then start on the list one day a week. The list you have no control over, then try and this is the hard thing to do, but try as hard as you can not to worry and just realise that you will not be able to change anything that is outwith your control.  


9. No time – then make time and create an action plan for the next week/month

There never seems to be any time to do what we actually want and need to do. Do you take work home? Think about all the meetings you go to - do you really need to attend them all? Try either not going or send someone in your place sometimes. When you plan for the week ahead, it does help you to focus and at least have some sort of plan. I usually try and plan ahead, it doesn’t always go to plan but at least I know what I need to get done this week or the next week.


Here is an action plan to download and will keep you focused so try it and see how you get on. Let me know how you find it and if you feel less stressed and under less pressure.


10. Worried – create a Worry List with headings ‘Worry’ and ‘Cause’

So often we worry and this can affect our sleep and find that we cannot concentrate properly at work as we are so tired. Well it is now time to take some action as I need my sleep and I am sure you do also as it helps to replenish your body and make you ready for the next day. The worry list is useful and it can help you realise that it is not always something that you should be worrying about at all. Download the free worry list here







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Worry list


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