Wednesday 7 November 2012 is National Stress Awareness Day organised by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA). Economic uncertainty and the fear of job losses are putting a strain on many workers both in the workplace and at home. None of us seem to have enough hours in the day and relationships may be under stress due to fiscal uncertainty and pressures at work.
The theme for this 14th National Stress Awareness Day is ‘Defining Outcomes for Wellbeing at Work’. The thinking behind this theme is that wellbeing (i.e. feeling happy with the way our lives are going) can help reduce mental health issues such as anxiety and stress and is driven by three aspects:
- Our thoughts ‐ how satisfied we are with where we are and where we want to be.
- Our feelings ‐ positive feelings about life and goals.
- Our actions ‐ what we choose to do or not do in relation to our lives.
ISMA has produced a questionnaire that can be completed in order to enhance wellbeing at work and home.
Stress affects us all but particularly in the workplace where issues such as lack of support from line managers, excessive workloads or personality clashes with colleagues can, in some cases, produce a veritable melting pot for raised stress levels. It’s becoming more important than ever for employers to give thought to whether the workplace is a healthy one and stress management has never been more relevant than it is today – according to recent research by AXA, stress levels have doubled in four years.
Employers and line managers need to be aware of employees’ stress levels, and encourage staff to focus on their own wellbeing and work life balance in order to prevent the escalation and build-up of stress, which can cause various types of physical and mental illness. If you have concerns about stress levels in your workplace, or require advice on any other employee health issue, call the free Health for Work Adviceline on 0800 0 77 88 44.