What is stress costing you personally?
I know stress, so why do I need to understand it?
Because you may not be aware of what’s really going on, and what it’s costing you. In order to better manage stress, you need to understand what’s going on.
Stress is the silent saboteur!
It can sneak into your life and take over, without you realising it. When “in the grip” of stress, you become uncharacteristically not yourself. Stress makes it hard to be your best and to do your best; physically, mentally and emotionally. It affects your performance, and the way you think, feel and react. Don't underestimate it.
…if left untreated, persistent stress can contribute to the onset of certain mental health conditions, or exacerbate them.”
Medibank Chief Medical Officer, Dr Linda Swan
According to Medibank research, covering the ten years between 2007 and 2017, the incidence of stress peaked in 2017.
...with the number of Australians affected rising from 3.7 million 2007-08 to over 4.9 million in 2016-17. Stress is taking it's toll on our relationships, sleep and mental health.
And judging by various reports, it doesn't look like the 2018 and 2019 statistics will be any better.
Your relationships can suffer due to:
- Becoming irritable with loved ones and colleagues
- Being less likely to participate in social activities
- Being unable to be “there” for family and friends
Your mental health:
- Stress can lead to low self-esteem and a lack of confidence and these are key things holding women back in their career
- If left untreated you’re more likely to suffer from other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety and panic attacks than the general population
Stress could be the reason for your low energy and frequent colds and infections. While a lot more research is needed, studies have indicated some potential links between stress and some physical health conditions, such as:
- Poor sleep
- IBS & headaches
- The Immune system and our ability to fight off infections, colds & flu
In a nutshell
Some stress is good sometimes - to get you out of danger, or to provide that extra burst of adrenaline to get an important job done. But prolonged stress can have a pretty devastating impact.
Tune in to your stress level and the damage it may be causing to your quality of life and work performance.
Don't let stress get out of hand. It can sabotage your physical and mental health, relationships and your quality of life.
You cannot be at your peak in your performance and wellbeing without getting stress under control. Develop some stress management strategies that work for you.
In Part 4 I will talk about ways to manage everyday stress.