We all know the stats behind the numbers of people struggling with stress at work.
However, if you've been trapped in a bubble for the past few months/years here's a quick couple of stats from the most recent Labour Force Survey (2015/2016):
Now, I'm sure you were canny enough to notice I stuck the word 'reported' in the first stat because we have to be mindful that a huge majority of people don't report stress.
Under reporting estimates range from 29% to 79% so you can see just how large the numbers really can be.
While stress in itself is not a huge problem and can be tackled pretty quickly and effectively within the workplace.
It's what happens next where the real issues come in.
Unresolved stress will (not can, may or probably - this is a firm 100% will), turn into a serious mental and/or physical problem.
I'm just going to reiterate this so it really sinks in:
Unresolved Stress = Mental & Physical Health Issues
These aren't minor ailments like a cold, or a headache (although these can be indicators...)
I mean like really big issues such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, depression and anxiety.
Things that require long term recovery strategies.
Things that can (and do) result in death.
I'm not kidding.
Unresolved stress leads to death.
I know it's still quite early this morning & you're probably thinking it's a little extreme to have this thrown at me while I'm eating my breakfast!
But it doesn't change the truth.
I do have a little bit of good news - if you're struggling you can make a few simple changes to get yourself back on track.
The earlier you start the easier it is to get back to full health.
I'll get there in a moment I just need to talk a little more about how stress goes to depression.
Stress occurs when we're literally overloaded with pressure.
Your body goes into survival mode in order for you to make quick decisions and get out of being stressed and back to your natural, relaxed, happy state (I promise being happy and relaxed really is your natural state...).
When it's in survival mode your immune system shuts down (hence cancer, heart disease...), your metabolism slows down (why you can never loose the weight), and a whole host of other things happen.
Now, your mind is a wonderfully powerful thing that will do whatever it can to save you.
This is super important - it will do anything in its power to stop you doing something it perceives as dangerous and life threatening.
This is how you end up depressed.
Your body has been warning you for weeks, months and in some cases years that you can't cope and something needs to change.
The issue - you've ignored these signs.
So your body/mind ramps up the intensity.
You can't get out of bed.
You have been zapped of every ounce of motivation you ever had.
But your brain is sneaky.
Before you get to this point your mind has already made sure you're going to stay in bed recuperating.
You've already withdrawn from the people, places and things you love so there's no one to drag you out, there's no external pull on your life.
You've slowly been loosing your appetite so your energy stores are depleted.
Your cognitive function (thinking skills) has been progressively getting worse so you're struggling to do anything, to concentrate on anything or even just pay attention.
You're not alone we all go through periods of stress and we all have the potential to become depressed.
You don't have to though.
You can say 'no thank you brain I'm paying attention to the warning signs and I am going to make changes.'
Then, make some changes!
Here's some things you can do right now to show yourself you're committed to avoiding depression:
But, here's the thing.
If you know all this then why haven't you done it?
Why are you still stressed?
There is no quick fix (even with the essential oils you need to put some work in to maintain a stress-free existence).
I'm not withholding the 'one thing' that will change your life - it doesn't exist.
It's up to you.
Do you wan't to stay as you are right now, or do you want to enjoy your life?
Make a choice.
Good luck & I'll catch up with you soon - Katie.
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