It's Stress Awareness Time!

The average adult is no stranger to stress. Our Workscore survey shows that 78 percent of respondents frequently experience stress at work. Those that are stressed often also report being 30% less happy, 40% more anxious, and 30% more depressed than others.

While April is stress awareness month across the UK and US, Aussies have just one Stress Down Day on the 24th of July. Seeing as stress can take a massive toll, let’s use the full month to become aware of the stress in our lives and make a shift towards lessening its effects.  

In the spirit of motivation, here are just five (there are many more!) ways that negative stress interacts with all aspects of our well being.

  • Fuel: Stress changes how and what we eat. For some, this can lead to over-eating and poorer food choices as we aim for comfort rather than health.

  • Fitness: A review on the effects of stress on physical activity, found that stress usually leads to a decrease in exercise and an increase in sedentary behavior.

  • Body: Similar to other bodily systems, the immune system suffers when we are under stress, which means we might find ourselves sick more often.

  • Work: Stress can reduce the ability for memory and cognitive learning. This would likely have a negative impact on work performance and progression for most people.

  • Mindset: Stress and mindset have an interesting relationship known as the stress-mindset theory. This theory has demonstrated that those who perceive stress as a positive challenge benefit from it, while those that see it as debilitating or threatening have worse cognitive, mood and feeling outcomes.

Motivated? Read on for our April Stress-Less Game Plan:

  1. Identify: Spend a few days figuring out what makes you stress and write down all the sources you identify.

  2. Prioritise: What’s stressing you the most and what should be addressed first? What can you realistically tackle?

  3. Plan: Are you able to completely remove the stressor from your life? Do you need to accept it for now and learn how to handle it better?

  4. Improve: Do what you need to do to eliminate what stress you can. Whether that’s making new choices regarding work, relationship, etc. If you can’t give it the boot, try using stress-relieving activities such as breath work, physical activity, and mindfulness to help.

  5. Review: At the end of April, revisit that list you made in step one. Is it shorter? Have any stressors dropped in severity?

If you’ve been chronically stressed and wondering how it has affected your body and mind, speak to a health practitioner about getting a check-up to see how your body is coping.

If you’re a manager, consider helping your employees get proactive by offering in office check ups. This could get your whole team more motivated and focused on well being--a cornerstone of productivity and success.  

The first step to dealing with stress is awareness and the next, is action. Find out what works best for you this month and learn to stress less!