Despite the fact that stress is now officially considered to be a debilitating psychological illness, it is still viewed with suspicion by some employers. Unfortunately, stress remains a serious phenomenon in the UK and across the world, however, with a growing number workers forced to seek out counseling and medical assistance in order to restore their well being.
The total number of stress related medical cases reached a staggering 428,000 during 2011/2012, and this represented more than 40% of all work place illnesses. This figure has risen annually for the last 4 years, and it is expected to do so again by the end of 2013. While many may cite the global economic downturn as a key factor in this epidemic, however, each individual case has its own unique set of contributing factors.
With this in mind, it is important that employees are proactive and take steps towards cultivating a positive balance between their professional and personal lives.
Evaluate your Life and its Meaning:
Once the symptoms of stress have taken hold, it can be extremely difficult to redress the balance and restore your sense of calm. This is why it is important to regularly evaluate your life and its fundamental goals, as an unplanned deviation from your career path or in your personal life cause a great deal of angst, concern and stress. This exercise can also help you to ensure that you are able to focus on both the professional and personal aspects of your life, as an over emphasis on one over the other can create significant stress when things do not go according to plan.
Embrace Physical Well Being and Good Health:
The links between physical and mental health are well known, and you only need to look at the sport of golf to understand this further. The advent of fit and physically strong athletes such as Tiger Woods has helped to revolutionize the game, and created a generation of younger professionals who combine mental strength and fortitude with excellent physicality. Quite aside from the fact that vigorous exercise is known to stimulate feelings of joy and positivity, the cultivation physical well being also allows you to take control of your life and diminish the threat posed by stress and anxiety.
Take Regular Holidays:
Our mundane and relentless daily routines can be a significant trigger for stress related illness, especially when we experience issues at home or in the workplace. Having an escape from these routines is therefore critical to maintaining good mental health, whether you plan one or two large getaways or schedule a number of weekend breaks. Whether you visit a world renowned international resort such as the Sapphire Waters Motor Inn in Australia or select from one of the UKâ€™s leading spa destinations, it is important to immerse yourself in a carefree and relaxing environment. Even those of you on a minimal budget should strive to break away from everyday routines, even if you take a drive to the coast and stay overnight in a peaceful bed and breakfast resort.
The Bottom Line
While stress remains underestimated in some quarters, its standing as a serious illness can no longer be disputed. You can take steps to avoid it, however, so long as you are proactive in your mindset and willing to change various aspects of your existing lifestyle.