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Managing Stress

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Are you feeling stressed? Then join the club! All of us will feel stressed at some point - it is a human experience. The skill lies in learning how to manage your stress. 

Let’s clarify what we mean when we use the word “stress”. According to the Health and Safety Executive: “ Stress is the adverse reaction that people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand that  are placed upon them.” As we know from our own experience, a reasonable amount of pressure can be positive - it helps us to complete tasks and to remain motivated. We are all different, of course, and reasonable pressure for one person  will be experienced as excessive by somebody else.

Some of the common symptoms of stress include:

  • Poor concentration

  • Difficulty in making decisions

  • Eating too much or too little

  • Becoming tearful

  • Pain in the neck/shoulder/back

  • Becoming irritable, anxious or restless. 

We all probably experience some of these things some of the time: the problem tends to be when we experience a cluster of them for a significant period of time.

What can you do to manage stress?

The important principle in managing stress is regaining control. One of the first things that happens to  us when we are stressed is that we feel  that we are losing control so  it is important to try to address this.

Here are some tips that may help you to feel in control again:

  • Learn a simple relaxation exercise

  • Be clear what is expected of you in your job. Clarity will help you to  focus on what is important

  • Prioritise your work: maintain your perspective, do what you can and accept what you can’t

  • Communicate: talk to others, share tasks, and work as a team as much as possible.

  • Read an article on '10 tips to stress free living'.

If you would like to speak to a staff counsellor here at the University you can contact the Counselling Service by email: counselling@aston.ac.uk. You might also like to contact Aston's Chaplaincy Team.

Further information on Managing Stress can be found at :

www.hse.gov.uk

www.isma.org.uk

Policy for the Prevention and Management of Work-Related Stress

Details of a Centre for Staff and Graduate Development Managing Stress course.