Can you recognize signs of stress in yourself and your colleagues?3 min readReading Time: 3 minutesReading Time: 3 minutes
Stress in the workplace is a common challenge that can have a significant impact on an individual’s well-being and overall productivity. It is crucial to recognize and address stress at work to create a supportive and healthy environment. By observing alterations in social engagement, communication patterns, and work habits, we can identify potential stressors. Taking proactive steps to manage workplace stress promotes a positive work culture and contributes to the overall well-being of individuals and the organization as a whole.
Nicky Marshall, director of Discover Your Bounce, a group of companies providing a range of programs and events for individuals and organizations that result in living a positive life. Nicky Marshall is an international speaker and author of such books as “Fearless Connection: Real Life Stories Of Entrepreneurs Who Made It Happen” (2023) and “The Bounce Back Journey Of Parenting: An Inspiring Collection Of Personal Stories” (2022). Through Discover Your Bounce and her books, Nicky Marshall tries to help individuals improve their health and well-being. After a successful career in finance, Nicky underwent a transformation following her own health challenges, realizing the importance of daily techniques and choices in achieving better health and a life worth loving. Her personal journey of recovery from a stroke in 2010 highlighted the profound impact of small shifts in daily habits.
This April, Nicky published an article on how to deal with stress at the workplace. In this blog post, we discuss some tips from it.
1. How to detect stress:
Recognizing stress is crucial, and being aware of its various manifestations is essential. To begin with, stress can cause behavioral changes as our brains hyper-focus on perceived needs. This may lead to individuals who are usually calm becoming fixated on deadlines, displaying aggression, or neglecting self-care. Thus, it’s important to pay attention to alterations in social engagement, communication patterns, and work habits.
Then stress can also have physical manifestations such as weight fluctuations, sleep disturbances, and changes in appearance or dressing habits. These visible signs should not be ignored, as they can indicate underlying stress.
Lastly, stress affects both the brain and gut, with conditions like IBS, colitis, Crohn’s disease, migraines, and back pain exacerbated by stress. If individuals experience increased sick leave due to these health conditions, it should prompt consideration of underlying stressors.
2. How to deal with stress and help others:
When dealing with stress and supporting others, it is essential to approach the situation with empathy and understanding. Thus, Nicky advises always asking twice when checking in on someone experiencing stress. This is so because people often hesitate to express their stress due to feelings of guilt, shame, or fear of job loss. By asking twice, we encourage them to open up honestly about their struggles. Express concern and offer assistance, acknowledging any observed changes in their behavior or well-being.
Moreover, it is recommended to assess whether the person has a support network. Engage in a private conversation to understand if they are confiding in friends, family, a general practitioner, or a mentor. If they lack a support network, we need to provide guidance and resources to help them connect with appropriate sources of support.
Lastly, it is crucial to identify the root cause of stress before taking action. Different stressors may require different approaches. Short-term stressors may benefit from a listening ear and empathetic conversation, while ongoing challenges may necessitate regular meetings, additional support, and the development of a comprehensive well-being action plan.
Overall, recognizing and supporting stress is crucial for promoting overall well-being. By being attentive to behavioral changes, physical manifestations, and health challenges, we can identify signs of stress in ourselves and others. Offering support, encouraging open conversations, and fostering psychologically safe workplaces create a positive and resilient work environment. Let’s prioritize our mental health and support one another on the journey to a happier and healthier life.