We all experience stress – whether it’s the daily commute, club relegation or the kids misbehaving – and in many ways there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s perfectly normal to display a range of feelings and emotions when you’re dealing with something you care about. We all need a certain level of stress to operate and it is important to remember that stress isn’t an illness – it is a mental state.
Unfortunately for many people, stress becomes extreme, lasts for prolonged periods and develops into mental and/or physical illnesses, leading to poor health, lower productivity and increased accident and sickness absence.
Quite recently in fact, a major study from the British Heart Foundation has shown that men with diabetes or heart disease under ‘job strain’ have a 68% higher risk of early death as a direct result of work stress on their health.
This is why managing Health and Safety within the workplace is so important, because if not managed properly, one outcome can be individuals or indeed an entire workforce developing symptoms of stress, which in severe cases can have a catastrophic impact on a person’s life. For this reason, we’ve put together our top tips for improving avoiding workplace stress:
Get some sleep
Most of us need around 6-8 hours of rest in order to get a good night’s sleep. If we don’t achieve this, our body function can get out of balance very easily and we’ll often experience fatigue, a short temper and lack of focus. With this in mind it’s important to make sleep a priority, as it’ll help give you the energy needed to cope with the demands of everyday life.
To further reduce your stress levels, why not try some relaxation exercises? Relaxation is one of the most enduring and successful stress management strategies around with techniques varying from; deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise and yoga. These relaxation responses will help put the brakes on stress and bring your body and mind back into a state of balance.
Dealing with change
Most of us have experienced a significant change at work at some point – it’s an inevitable and necessary part of working life. Whether through restructures, promotions or downsizing – it may seem daunting and trigger feelings of anxiety.
But change doesn’t have to culminate in fear and anxiety – learning to embrace change with a positive attitude can help you through the re-adjustment process and bring about opportunities you never considered possible.
Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’
We cannot be everything to everyone, all of the time. When someone tries to be that, they soon ‘burn out’. For this reason it’s important to say ’No’ to your peers and colleagues from time-to-time, as we simply don’t have the time, space, mental and or physical energy to take on everything all at once.
Learn to count your blessings
We all go through bad experiences during the course of our life but it’s important to focus on our blessings, not our misfortunes. By keeping a positive attitude and valuing the good things in your life rather than concentrating on the bad, you’ll soon find content with what you have and not worry about the things you don’t.
Ask for help
Asking for help if you feel things are getting overwhelming is probably the most important tip on this list. Whilst it may not seem like it, but asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Like it or not, no one’s superman, and having the strength to recognise when you need a little support is no bad thing.
And finally, undertaking a Health & Safety Qualification is a sure-fire way to reducing work related stress. This option can provide organisations with a sound basis and confidence to implement effective health and safety management through its practical approach and the application of knowledge to problem solving within the workplace
If you require further information on preventing and/or managing workplace stress with one of our occupational safety courses such as the NEBOSH Diploma, General Certificate or our suite of Risk Assessment courses, call us on 0121 248 2233 or visit our website.