ESRI Study –Stress on the Increase!
A recent ESRI report which was published towards the end of last year highlighted the growing stress for Irish workers and that stress had in fact doubled between 2010 and 2015 from 8% to 17 %. It is Interesting that the Irish figure is still below the European average of 19%. but it is on the increase. Stress according to the report is highest in the health sector, public administration, and manufacturing.
Those reporting job stress were identifying the emotional demands of clients and customers as being the most significant contributor to their stress. Other stress inducing factors identifed were time pressure, longer working hours and bullying and harassment. And on a positive note, employees reported feeling less stressed if they felt supported by their coworkers and managers and felt their job was of value and felt job satisfaction. For a fuller report see the link here.
It’s good that these kind of reports are highlighting stress and point to the need to recognise and provide support around it. Stress has an obvious negative link to our physical health and mental wellbeing but also on how we can perform at work and contributes to increased sick leave and absenteeism.
However, it’s important to note that whilst stress is on the increase that, more than ever, we are aware of stress and this has an influence on the increased reporting of this. There is an increased awareness of stress across the whole of society, and we are all much quicker to say we are stressed than we may have done previously. Even our children talk freely about stress, but still, we need to listen to this too and find ways to manage and reduce our stress.
Stress is inevitable, and of course, a certain amount can allow us to feel engaged and motivated. But we do need to identify our stress, seek to address what might be underlying or causing the stress and seek to ensure our emotional wellbeing. We all experience situations differently and similarly we need to find ways that suit us to manage our stress. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet are generally key in helping us stay healthy and well and thus cope with stress. Practices such as mindfulness and expressing gratitude are now recognised as helpful in stress reduction and there are numerous research papers to support this.
It’s important to find what suits us and our unique situation and the first step is to recognize and acknowledge that we may be feeling stressed. Then we can look at what might work for us and find ways to reduce our stress. Likewise we can teach our children how they can do this. There is a multitude of resources online, and we also may benefit from speaking to someone.
January can be a difficult month for many, relationships may have been strained over Christmas and finances may also be an issue. Take time to recoup and practice some good self-care this month-and the days are getting longer ! Also remember to breathe !