Stress is a reaction to a situation.

Not all stress is bad, for example, when you take action to avoid crashing your car, the increased heart rate and breathlessness you may experience is an immediate stress reaction.

Unfortunately, stress can be a long-term issue and one which many of us will endure at some time in our lives.

What causes stress?

There are all kinds of triggers, also known as stressors. What causes a stress reaction in one person at one time in their lives, may not be true at another time, nor will it be the same for another person.

It is an individual reaction but there are some commonalities, such as stress and worries relating to financial matters.

The problem with stress

Work is often a source of on-going negative stress, and it is this form of stress that brings all kinds of problems.

For an employer and for the economy as a whole, stress is an expensive problem. There are millions of working days each year lost to worker absenteeism because of stress. For many, stress is an emotional and physically crippling issue and one that takes time, treatment and support to deal with.

Dealing with stress

Attitudes towards stress are changing. This means that how stress is treated is also changing, with employers and employees encouraged to be mindful of stress, it triggers and how to remove or minimise stress in the workplace.

Living a full and happy life means balancing the positives and the negatives, but before we can do that, we need to recognise what they are. Stress is one of those things we need to balance and understanding that what works for us, may not work for others.

Taking time to look after ourselves is key. And employers can play a part too.

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