Don’t let stress sneak up on you

According to recent research by Insurance company, AXA PPP Healthcare, stress levels have doubled in the last 4 years.[1] Here PHP are offering BHA members top stress tackling tips to help you help your employees and stop stress sneaking up on you.

Stress can be defined as physical, psychological, and emotional responses to pressure – both too much, but also too little. Stress levels are higher at the moment than ever before, with work, deadlines, commuting, technology, and social media contributing to most people’s stress.

There are many common signs of stress, whether it be psychological, physical, emotional, or behavioural, there are certain signs of stress with formulate differently in different people. Many of us could identify the obvious - depression, anxiety, panic attacks or nausea, but if you noticed a colleague who had lapses in memory or lack of self esteem would you associate it with stress?

Long term sick leave cost the average UK business £620,000 a year.[2] There are a range of products available designed to help employers combat stress and support employees should they need it. An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) can support employers and employees with problems they are facing both at work and in their personal lives. EAP’s give users 24 hour access to support and guidance 365 days a year some with first day intervention for stress-related absence to ensure your employees are well looked after should the need arise.

In the meantime PHP are here to help by offering these top stress tackling tips to help you help your employees and stop stress sneaking up on you;

Be Active – Physical activity can get you in the right state of mind to deal with pressure.

Take Control – There is a solution to any problem you may have.

Connect with People – A good support network of colleagues, friends, and family can ease your      work troubles and help you see things in a different way.

Have ‘me time’ – The UK workforce works in the longest hours in Europe. Set aside a couple of nights a week for some quality ‘me time’ away from work.

Challenge Yourself – Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps build confidence.

Avoid Unhealthy Habits – Don’t rely on alcohol, smoking, and caffeine as your ways of coping. Over the long-term, these crutches won’t solve your problems. They’ll just create new ones.

Work Smarter not Harder – Good time management means quality work rather than quantity. Working smarter means prioritising your work and concentrating on tasks that will make a real difference to your work.

Be Positive – Look for the positives in life, and things for which you’re grateful. Write down 3 things at the end of every day which went well or for which you’re grateful.

Accept things you can’t change – Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. If this proves to be the case, recognise and accept things as they are and concentrate on everything that you do have control over.

For more information on how to target stress contact Nicola Palmer on 01274 588862 or email

[1] International Stress Management Association website, 2013

[2] Centre for economics and business research, 2013


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