Last week in my blog about the signs of work related stress, I talked about the physical symptoms. So this week, I thought I would talk about the more obvious signs that you might spot, that would alert you that someone is feeling stressed. These are things you are likely to notice in their behaviour. These symptoms include: 
An increase in sick days or absenteeism 
Diminished creativity and initiative 
A drop in work performance 
Problems with interpersonal relationships 
Mood swings and irritability 
Lower tolerance of frustration and impatience 
It could be you too! 
Although I mention that these are the things to look out for in colleagues and people that you know, it is equally important that we monitor our own behaviour and use these indicators as a warning sign that we could be under stress. One of the biggest problems with a reactive stress strategy is that it relies on people being aware that they are stressed. All too often people don't notice the warning signs and consequently, don't do anything about it until the situation gets more serious. By becoming more aware of our own behaviour and any changes can alert us to any potential problem. 
Of course, these symptoms do not necessarily mean that the person is suffering from work related stress - it could be something at home. We all have challenges that we face every day - paying the bills, sickness, children, neighbours etc etc. The important thing to remember is that often these will impact on people when they come to work. 
What can we do to give everyone the skills and techniques needed to cope with an increasingly stressful life? 
I believe that a proactive stress strategy is essential in any business. This involves giving people techniques that they can use to de-stress (often mindfulness based), creating an "anchor" to help them when stressed and also powerful re-framing ideas that can turn around the way they deal with their everyday problems..  
So, the next time your colleague (or loved one) seems out of sorts - snapping at people for no reason, or any of the other signs above, perhaps it would be worthwhile thinking about whether they are stressed and how we can help them back to a more productive and happier outlook. 
I run a 1 or 2 hour Stress Busting Workshop which is suitable for up to 30 people at your workplace. As a proactive stress strategy it has the following benefits: 
Cost Effective as it suitable for up to 30 people at once 
Easily rolled out for the whole workforce 
No-one has to admit they are stressed 
A relaxing and fun session that everyone will enjoy 
It gives everyone the strategies to cope with any type of stress before it happens, whether at home or at work. It will allow them to manage their own stress levels and re-structure the way they think about stressful situations. It will also give them powerful techniques that they can use at any time they are stressed to calm down and to build resilience. 
For more information, click here 
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