Someone suffering from stress may become more withdrawn and “not their usual self”. They may be prone to outbursts of anger or appear more irritable or tearful. They may take less pride in their appearance or their standards at work may begin to fall. They may take more time off work, suffer from loss of motivation or become prone to making mistakes.

 

Some people suffering from stress have developed coping mechanisms which could, in themselves, become problematic – drinking too much alcohol, smoking, over- or under-eating, or abusing drugs (prescribed or non-prescribed) for instance.

 

The physical impact of stress

 

Some stress can be a good thing in the short term used for helping us carry out tasks or reach specific deadlines. But prolonged or repeated exposure to stress can be harmful to our health, causing physical symptoms such as:

  • palpitations

  • raised blood pressure

  • chest pains

  • headaches

  • abdominal cramps

  • nausea

  • sleep disturbance/tiredness

  • aching muscles and neck/back pain

 

Signs of stress in a group workplace

  • Increased sickness absence

  • Increased staff turnover

  • Increased grievances/complaints

  • Increased disputes within and between workplace groups/teams.

  • Poor performance