It is natural to have feelings of stress at work or home and a little pressure can help us to keep focused on our goals. However, sustained stress has the potential to impact on our performance and can contribute to numerous health problems including heart disease, insomnia, digestive issues, anxiety and depression. 

Coping better in stressful situations

Sometimes the source of our stress is obvious, like a looming deadline or an unexpected bill, but often it’s a result of many smaller factors. If we're struggling to shut off, the pressure can build up and take its toll on our lives both at work and at home. Although we can't control everything that happens to us in life, what we can work to control is our reaction to the situation.

Using the advice and resources listed below before you become stressed can boost your resilience and help you to better cope in stressful situations:

  1. Mindfulness - Meditation can change the pathways in the brain to reduce anxiety and boost your mood. Mindfulness sessions are available via our Wellbeing Wednesday sessions, and weekly through our partnership with Essex Working Well.
  2. Keep in touch - A good chat with friends or colleagues helps you process your thoughts. You should also be honest about your stress levels with your manager so they can look to identify support for you. Our Dedicated Mental Health First Aiders are also available to meet for short walks and a confidential chat.
  3. Take a break – Taking a short break from your work of even five minutes is long enough to disrupt the body's stress response cycle. Taking a break also means you’re more likely to be productive when you do return to work.  
  4. Stay active - Exercise is a great way to boost your feel good hormones and release tension. Why not try our Wellbeing Wednesday Yoga or Nordic Walking sessions?
  5. Breath – Using this simple breathing exercise can help you before a stressful event.
  6. Complete a stress risk assessment – You can use our new stress assessment tools to complete a stress risk assessment either on your own or with your management team. This will help you to look at all of the factors that affect your work environment and develop actions to reduce or remove these stressors.
  7. Attend a stress awareness session – Essex Working Well run monthly stress awareness sessions for managers and staff. These sessions explain the models and definitions of stress and the effects of the stress response. It will also help you to recognise the causes and signs of stress and understand key personal and workplace coping strategies.
  8. Utilise Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) – Silvercloud is our online platform that uses clinically proven tools based on CBT techniques to help you to better understand and manage stress.

Don’t forget you can always reach out and email the Workplace Health Safety and Wellbeing team to seek further advice and support if you or a colleague needs wellbeing support.