Stress is not always a negative state. We encounter varying amounts of stress every day in different situations throughout our lives, both at work and at home or in social situations. We are engineered to respond to challenges in our environment which prompt us to take action. Our bodies are designed to respond to this by producing adrenaline and cortisol. These stress hormones enable us to meet the challenge in front of us. It is only when our stress levels rise and remain too high that stress can lead to anxiety or fear. These excessive stress levels can also lead to feeling overwhelmed and of being unable to cope. Prolonged elevated levels of stress hormones also affect our physical health. Because we can’t prevent stress, we can instead change how we deal with it and make it more manageable.
Causes of Stress
Relationships, work or study, exams, lack of money, family demands and time management are just some of the most common causes of stress. Divorce, death, loss of a job, moving house, discrimination and bullying, or public speaking are other issues that we face in our lives. We all experience stress. We all respond in differing ways to the life events which take place in life because we are unique individuals.
Studies have shown that when we are happy at work we perform better. Keeping us engaged in our employment leads to greater well being. Conversely, when we are disenfranchised from our job roles, health suffers.
Stresses and Pressures of Today’s World
Dealing with Pressure
Living in a fast paced and demanding world puts pressure on all of us. Society can be quite unforgiving of failure or inability to meet targets. There are many ways in which we might find ourselves reacting to stress: forgetfulness; sleep problems; irritability and moodiness; fatigue; lack of concentration. We may experience physical feelings of discomfort or anxiety and depression. These are some of the common symptoms you might be experiencing. It is important that you understand you are perfectly normal in reacting to stress in this way.