Work-related stress results from the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work. Stress is not an illness – it is a state; however, if stress becomes too excessive and prolonged, the mental and physical illness may develop.
Stress has been dubbed the “health epidemic of the 21st century” by the World Health Organization. Irish workers are among the most stressed in the EU. A recent survey conducted by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work shows that 22 per cent of Irish workers experience stress at work either “always” or “most of the time.”
A 2016 ESRI study also found anxiety, stress, and depression were the second-highest causes of work-related illness in Ireland.
Taking care of yourself will help maintain your physical, emotional, and mental reserves to prevent and manage stress. This includes exercise, eating well, regular sleep and finding some time for yourself to relax and replenish.
Make time for regular exercise
Aerobic exercise—and activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat—is a hugely effective way to lift your mood, increase energy, sharpen focus, and relax both the mind and body. When stress is mounting at work, try to take a quick break and move away from a stressful situation. Take a walk outside the workplace if possible. Physical movement can help you regain your balance.
Make smart, stress-busting food choices
Your food choices can have a significant impact on how you feel during the workday. Eating small, frequent and healthy meals, for example, can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar. This keeps your energy and focus and prevents mood swings. Low blood sugar, on the other hand, can make you feel anxious and irritable while overeating can make you feel sluggish.
Don’t skimp on sleep
You may feel like you don’t have the time to get a full night’s sleep. But skimping on sleep interferes with your daytime productivity, creativity, problem-solving skills, and ability to focus. The better rested you are, the better equipped you’ll be to tackle your job responsibilities and cope with workplace stress.
What can Organisations do to improve stress levels in the workplace?
Because of the rise in anxiety and stress, progressive employers recognise the need to be able to offer their employees a way of dealing with their mental and physical well-being. Having a workforce who are healthy, happy and engaged has also been shown to improve the company’s bottom line.
Mental well-being can be very much impacted by how employees feel physically, so it makes sense as there’s less burnout, higher productivity, and better morale and team spirit in the workplace.
Putting health and wellness programs in place is a proven and cost-effective way to show your staff that you care about their physical and mental health. Workplace Massage Therapy in Ireland has proven to be an extremely effective way to mitigate stress. Massage also helps regulate sleep, maintain blood pressure and deals with hypertension. So, massage not only helps to deal with stress but also deals with the problems that can be products of stress. Today, the concept of corporate massage has become increasingly accepted as a practical and straightforward option. The idea here is to deal with the issue of stress at its very root. Hence, concepts like chair massage at work are increasingly becoming popular choices of progressive employers.