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Why Stress Matters

Ministry of Defence (extract)

So, just what is Stress? It can mean different things to different people, but what we can be sure of is that:

  • It is a natural reaction to excessive pressure
  • If you are unable to manage excessive pressure, you may suffer from stress
  • It happens when you perceive that demands put on you exceed your ability to cope
  • If the stress is excessive or prolonged, it can lead to mental and physical ill health
  • There is no such thing as positive stress. Pressure can be positive but stress is always negative
  • We are all different in how we view and deal with stress

To begin with, it’s important to make a distinction between Pressure and Stress. It’s healthy and essential that we experience challenges in our lives and that is when we tend to feel levels of pressure. However, too much pressure can be harmful and combined with how we see and deal with it, stress can result which can be destructive to our health.

The impact that stress can have on you as an individual is great. When someone is off work with stress (the normal GP diagnosis tends to be ‘anxiety’ or ‘depression’) it takes on average nearly four months for him or her to recover enough to make a return to work. Permanent recovery can take much longer.

Author: Bryan Matthew

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