How stress affects performance and productivity

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Stress affects us all to some degree and it's becoming more of a problem as we get busier and more overloaded.

Stress can have both a positive and negative impact, if it's allowed to build up or ignored it can result in serious issues - physical, mental and emotional.

What's stressful for one person might not be an issue for someone else. We all handle stress differently and one person's adrenaline rush is another person's nightmare.

High levels of stress cause poor performance and low productivity.
  • One in five people are stressed at work.
  • Almost 30 days are lost per stress related incident.
  • Over 12.8 million days are lost per year!
  • Stress costs UK businesses £3.7 billion a year.
Serious stress can result in digestive, back and skin problems, insomnia, high-blood pressure, weight problems, heart disease, headaches, depression … the list goes on.

Even less serious symptoms like lack of concentration, low energy levels, forgetfulness, being late and frequent colds can all be signs of stress.

Once you know what causes your stress, you can either reduce it or learn how to deal with it better.

Look after yourself:
  • eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • take regular exercise – include gentle exercise like Yoga or Tai Chi 
  • avoid excessive stimulants – coffee, tea, cigarettes and alcohol 
  • allow time for yourself, your family and friends
  • take up meditation
Adjust your workload:
  • work fewer hours 
  • learn to say no 
  • take responsibility 
  • be pro-active instead of reactive 
  • keep things in perspective
  • improve your skills
  • work within your own ability
Take some time to think about your own stress levels and what you could do to improve and reduce them.  Put a support structure in place to help manage your stress levels - friends, family, professional.  Get help and support before it becomes a more serious problem.

Get in touch if you’d like some additional ideas or need some support in reducing your stress.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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