Interrealte Consultancy Relaxation in an age of stress

Stress [ Predominantly this article will deal with the issues of stress within the workplace.]

If we talk in terms where 'pressure' is a good thing, and 'stress' is a bad thing.

We all need some pressure in our lives. Pressure is what gets us out of bed in the morning and is the motivating force for us to get on with living our lives. We therefore don't mind those sorts of pressures. Whether in our personal or working lives, we can thrive on those aspects whereby we feel needed and wanted. Where necessary tasks and actions lead to our fulfillment; breed acceptance, good feelings and pride in ourselves. Successfully coping with this kind of pressure raises our confidence and self-esteem.

Tackling work related stress

Stress is an adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demands placed on them. It can be work or home linked or a combination of both. Work related stress is not an illness, but it can lead to increased problems with ill health, if it is prolonged or particularly intense.

For example :

Physical Effects

Heart Disease
Back pain
Various minor illnesses


Psychological Effects


Stress is not a weakness and you don't have to suffer. Your employer has a Duty of Care to protect your health, safety and welfare at work and they would probably appreciate any suggestions you may have for reducing work related stress.

Work related stress is a symptom of an organisational problem, not an individual weakness.

What can help at work ?

'Doing your bit' for managing work related stress by talking to your line manager, if they don't know there is a problem, they can't help. If you feel you can't talk to your line manager directly, then ask your safety representative to raise the issue on your behalf or your H.R. Department.

Support your colleagues if they are experiencing work related stress and encourage them to talk to their manager or safety representative.

Speak to your occupational health department or to your G.P. If you are worried about your health.

Discuss with your line manager whether it is possible to alter your job or to make it less stressful to you, recognising you and your colleagues needs.

Try to channel your energy into solving the problem rather than just worrying about it. Think about possible solutions and discuss the options with your line manager.

What can help outside work ?

Eat healthily.

Stop smoking – it doesn't help you stay healthy, even if you think it relaxes you.

Don't drink more than recommended, alcohol is a depressant and won't help you tackle the problem.

Watch your caffeine intake. Tea and coffee and some soft drinks may contribute to your feeling more anxious.

Stay physically active, it stimulates you and gives you more energy.

Learn relaxation techniques – it may help you cope.

Talk to family or friends about what you are feeling, they may be able to help you and provide support. Use a counselling service if it is provided by your employer.

Live within your means and keep a proportionate work/life balance.

(Acknowledgment to CAPITA Health & Safety Team)

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