Stress @ work – Beat the stress

Stress causes heart disease and diabetes, leads to depression and costs the British economy an estimated £3.7 billion per year – but that’s nothing compared to the personal costs. Find out how to reduce your stress levels in a few easy steps.

Almost 14 million working days are lost due to stress every single year, yet over 80% of workers say they would rather phone in sick with flu or another problem than admit they were stressed. Or we just don’t know that they are stressed! We’re working longer hours, sleeping less than ever and pressure at work has never been so stressful. A third of UK workers cannot get to sleep at night because of anxiety – how many of you are able to ‘switch off’ when they leave the office?Read on to find out about the health risks of stress – plus our simple stress-reducing tips.

Stress can cause panic attacks, insomnia & skin problems”

Stress: The Health Risks

Think it’s not important? Then consider these scary ways stress could be causing havoc with your health without you even realising it.

  • Stress can cause panic attacks, insomnia, skin problems such as eczema and, psoriasis, stomach and chest pain, hair loss, nausea and diarrhoea, giddiness and muscle pain, plus ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • There’s a well-known deadly link between stress and heart disease. Hormones released by feeling stressed out change your metabolism and increase your blood pressure, both risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
  • Stress also hugely increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes, even in young women. It’s because stress reduces oestrogen levels, which usually protect women against osteoporosis and hardened arteries until after menopause.
  • Stress causes cancer cells to resist treatment.
  • Studies have even found that stress suffered by pregnant women can harm their unborn children.
  • Stress plays a huge role in chronic fatigue syndrome – a debilitating fatigue that can include muscle aches, fever and sleep disturbances.
  • Research has even shown that stress kills brain cells.

Stress Busters:

Eat clean. Cut out junk food, reduce alcohol and coffee consumption. They are all stimulants, which play havoc with your hormones and blood sugar levels. They all give you a false sense of comfort and energy, but they do quite the opposite. They overload your body with toxins, and ultimately will make you feel sluggish, deplete your immune system and cause even more stress.

Have an aromatherapy massage. Scientists have finally confirmed what most of us have known all along – that aromatherapy massages, especially when accompanied by music, dramatically reduce stress levels. Researchers for the Journal of Clinical Nursing found that 60 per cent of nursing staff suffered from moderate to extreme anxiety – but this fell to just eight per cent once staff had received just 15 minutes of aromatherapy massages while listening to relaxing new-age music.

Pilates. Research suggests that meditating helps you cope better with stress, and one recent Chinese study shows that it is also lessens related feelings of anxiety, depression, anger and fatigue. In fact, the theory is that stress is actually a flexible skill that can be trained.

Get some exercise. It’s well known that physical activity reduces anxiety and stress, and it’s not just because it’s a distraction from the causes of stress. One recent study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, for example, found that exercise has a significant impact on anxiety, and reduces stress for some time afterwards.

Play with a pet. Several studies have shown that caring for an animal reduces stress. Recent US research, for example, found that people with pet dogs experience just one fifth of the typical anxiety, blood pressure hikes and heart rate risks people generally experience in stressful situations.

Growing a garden or even a pot plant could make a huge difference to your stress levels. There’s a growing body of research giving credibility to the widely held belief that nature can improve health. For example, one recent US study showed that adding greenery or a garden to hospital environments reduces stress significantly among patients, visitors and staff – plus it even lessened patient’s pain in some cases.

The Klinik at Devonshire Row (http://www.theklinik.co.uk/) offers variety of stress management techniques that can help you achieve work life balance. If you wish to find out more about you read here above, please feel free to call us on 0207377 1819.

Leonnie Turner-Bruce
About the author

Leonnie has worked with the WATC team for over 5 years. Leonnie also runs her own Design company www.destinydesigns.co.uk.

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