By Jayde Austin
It’s no surprise that most jobs involve some degree of stress, which isn’t unreasonable, however it can become an issue for individual’s health, and the workplace when it becomes excessive and ongoing. Not only does the effects of stress have a significant impact to mental health (in some cases causing an individual to develop anxiety and/or depression – or worsening their existing conditions), it also affects the productivity and performance within organisations.
Let’s first explore the effects to the individual, because we’ve all been there at one point or another, and it’s never pleasant. Some people thrive off being under pressure, but for others, it can feel overwhelming, causing physical symptoms such as:
Then there’s the psychological and behavioural symptoms you may experience, such as:
So what causes all of this? What factors are contributing to people feeling stressed at work? The main culprits include:
When mental health becomes compromised by work, it’s important for an individual to take steps to not only cope, but overcome this stress, allowing them to stay mentally well and as happy as possible. We first encourage individuals who are experiencing workplace stress to understand your agony, ask yourself, is this temporary? How intense are my stress levels? How long have they been increasing, and what impacts are they having to my work performance and personal relationships? Monitoring stress is a great first step in exploring not only the resulting factors of stress, but also the causations. Learning to identify when you’re stressed can help you either avoid commitments that may have otherwise proven taxing to your stress levels and mental health, but also figure out ways to manage situations more effectively in favour of less stress (i.e. ask for longer deadlines, start planning ahead of schedule, have an honest conversation with your managers, or confiding in friends and family, etc.).
While it’s difficult to give generalised advice to people experiencing stress in the workplace, given it is extremely individualised and circumstance based, there are a few key recommendations that are sure to help alleviate stress caused by the workplace.
Aside from yoga, we also offer various forms of assistance to individuals suffering from stress, anxiety and other forms of emotional unease. View our page on Integrative Therapies to learn more about how we can help you overcome your current hardships.
You may also be part of a workplace that offers an Employee Assistance and Wellness Program (EAWP) to assist employees with personal and work-related issues that are impacting their job performance, health, mental and emotional wellbeing. If your workplace offers this service, it’s absolutely worth chatting with someone about taking advantage of it.
For business owners who aren’t aware of this offering, EAWP gives you access to a team of specialists providing services that promote the health and wellbeing of employees. These services are designed to improve morale, and reduce absence levels and stress in the workplace, with the long term aim of improving the general health of the workforce. With EAWP, companies are gaining from resources helping employees manage their personal and work lives, meaning that both parties gain great benefits. With the primary focus being on the identification and resolution of employee and manager concerns, EAP programs are able to help individuals overcome triggers of anxiety and stress, allowing them to be happier, calmer and regain their optimal performance levels.
Harbour Therapy Clinic has a worksite focused program to assist with personal matters such as health, relationships, family, finances, emotions, anxiety and depression, alcohol, drugs and other related issues. Early intervention at the workplace is effective in ensuring employees return to work, in a positive, stable environment. We can advocate on behalf of the client to assist in reducing the impacts of workplace stressors. If you’re an employer concerned about your staff’s wellbeing, or just looking to boost their overall well-being in team building, visit our official EAP page to read more about this service and enquire with our team. Remember, when you or your staff start to be absent, it's our advice to make a timely response.
These blogs have been authored by individual therapists, students and interns practicing at Harbour Therapy Clinic in Coffs Harbour, Australia.