Stress can affect everyone. No matter how old, young, healthy, intelligent or mature, stress can affect anyone. The causes of stress differ between individuals, ranging from work-related stress, home-related stress, social-related stress or a combination of a number of different pressures.
Stress also affects people in different ways, in the way that a person reacts to a stressful situation and the emotions that it evokes. Some people seem to be more affected by stress than others. While some people can be prone to stress and find many daily tasks and events stressful, others appear to cope better with pressure and stressful situations. Either way, stress can significantly affect your health, well-being and your ability to function in everyday life. Too much stress can often leads to physical, mental, behavioural and emotional problems.
An estimated 442,000 individuals in Britain, who worked in 2007/08 believed that they were experiencing work-related stress at a level that was making them ill.
Labour Force Survey Government Stats; ISMA 2009
While almost everyone can admit to feeling these symptoms of stress, approximately 10% of the UK population reports suffering from chronic, or constant, stress (The Health Centre, 2006). Chronic stress is present and persistent in all areas of one’s life, including at work, home and in personal relationships. It is this type of stress that is potentially harmful to one’s health. Research has shown that around 12 million adults see their GPs with mental health problems each year (Mental Health Foundation UK, 2009). Most of these adults are suffering from anxiety and depression much of which is related to stress in their everyday lives.
Stress and chronic ill health in the workplace costs £100bn
Dame Carole Black, ISMA Conference 2009
Statistics from a recent global stress research study show that stress is felt worldwide, and stress affects women differently than men (The Health Centre, 2006). A recent Roper Starch Worldwide survey of 30,000 people between the ages of 13 and 65 in 30 countries showed that:
- Women who work full-time and have children under the age of 13 report the greatest stress worldwide
- Nearly one in four mothers who work full-time and have children under 13 feel stress almost every day
- Globally, 23% of women executives and professionals, and 19% of their male peers, say they feel ‘super-stressed’
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