Stress is an emotion that everyone experiences at some point in their lives. In recent years, though, it appears that this normal, human experience has moved past a simple feeling and instead transformed into a phenomenon. Studies have shown that stress is a worldwide issue, with about 33% of people experiencing the emotion on a regular basis. Furthermore, over 77% of people say that these feelings of stress actually impact their physical health.
One of the most common causes behind these difficult emotions? Work.
For HR teams, the best way to combat these experiences is to teach employees how to take proactive steps against undue stress. Then, if workers do find themselves feeling overwhelmed, HR departments should take it one step further and teach said employees how to decrease those negative emotions.
First, it is important for individuals to understand how stress impacts them, as well as learn the signs that they might be dealing with too much.
What Are the Most Common Signs of Stress?
Stress manifests in an individual both physically and emotionally. With the former, employees might complain of persistent headaches, stomachaches, muscle tension, or low energy. They might also experience symptoms close to those that present during an anxiety attack, such as an increase in heart rate, chest pain, or difficulty breathing. From an emotional perspective, they might experience difficulty concentrating, irritability, feelings of uneasiness or discontent, and mood swings.
What Are the Best Ways to Manage Stress?
First, teach your employees how to recognize their triggers and signs of stress. For some, they might experience feelings of tension and anxiety when they know they have a big deadline coming up. Understanding that these periods could lead to increased symptoms will allow them to take preventative measures ahead of time, whether that means creating a detailed plan of action to better manage their upcoming deadline or advising their manager of what they need in order to best accomplish the task at hand.
Next, teach your workers about effective stress relievers. Exercise, for example, has been scientifically proven to alleviate feelings of worry or nervousness. Other effective approaches include meditation, getting adequate sleep, and finding personal outlets like art or reading.
How Can You Tell When Stress Is Something More?
In some cases, your workers’ feelings of emotional overwhelm might be due to more than just situational circumstances. Sometimes, stress is actually a symptom of a mental or emotional condition, such as generalized anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
To help your employees understand and differentiate between the two, ask them to consider the different scenarios in which they typically feel stressed. Do they notice these emotions arise during specific scenarios, such as periods of intense work or during particular projects? Or do the feelings come on suddenly and without seemingly any cause?
Then, teach them to evaluate how these feelings are impacted by stress-relieving activities. For example, if meditation only provides a brief respite, only to be followed by the same intense feelings of anxiety, it could be that a chemical or hormonal condition is to blame.
In these cases, it is in your employees’ best interests to meet with a psychological professional for an official diagnosis. Once the condition is diagnosed, they can treat it with a broad range of options, from medication to talk therapy.
Whether you are helping your employees better understand their triggers or get professional assistance managing feelings of stress, Gympass is here to help. We have partnered with world-renowned companies focused on physical, emotional, and mental wellness to offer businesses the resources needed to thrive. From meditation programs with partners like Calm to exercise classes, we have everything you need to ensure a thriving team. Check us out here to learn more about our offerings.