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What is stress and its common signs?

Common Signs of Stress

The HSE defines stress as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them”.

There are so many factors that may contribute to feelings of stress at work. The relentless pressure, not enough time or people to do the work, lack of recognition for work achievements, eating more or less than usual, poor relationships with colleagues, not feeling valued or nurtured.

The six main contributors of stress at work:


You aren’t able to cope with the demands of your job


You have no control over the way you do your work


You don’t receive enough information or support


You are having trouble with relationships at work, or are being bullied


You don’t fully understand your role and responsibilities


The pace of change in your organisation makes you feel anxious

According to public health researchers Stamatakis and Mitchell, being in nature reduces anger, fear, and stress.

Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.

Common Signs of Stress

  • Taking more time off
  • Arriving for work later
  • Becoming nervous
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Smoking, drinking or taking drugs ‘to cope’
  • Having difficulty sleeping
  • Mood swings
  • Being withdrawn
  • Loss of motivation, commitment and confidence
  • Increased emotional reactions
  • Feeling negative
  • Being indecisive
  • Feeling isolated
  • Being unable to concentrate
  • Decrease in performance & productivity