While short bursts of pressure can help us rise to meet a challenge, long-term stress can have a major impact on our physical and mental health.
Stress is the feeling of being under pressure, with symptoms including anger and
anxiety, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, breathlessness and chest pains. People who are under prolonged stress are at greater risk of health problems like high blood pressure and heart attacks.
As a nation, we’re under greater stress than ever. After bereavement and divorce, work is the third biggest cause of stress. Over half of all workers believe that stress is damaging their health. As well as impacting on people’s health and wellbeing, it can also damage social lives and relationships.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) incorporates techniques such as meditation, gentle yoga and mind-body exercises to help people cope with stress. It gives people greater clarity on what is happening in their lives, improving problem-solving and boosting concentration. People who take a course in MBSR say that they feel more engaged in their work, more energised and less anxious. They sleep better and have fewer physical symptoms of stress.
If you’re interested in assessing your stress levels, take our free test.