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Identifying Stress – University of Reading

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Identifying Stress

It is recognised that individuals have different strengths and weaknesses and differing abilities to cope with pressure. These differing responses can make it difficult to determine an individual's susceptibility to work-related stress. Common psychological, physical and behavioural signs of stress include poor concentration, irritability, headaches, insomnia and increased sickness absence.

Recognising the signs of stress in yourself and others

What to look for in yourself:

Physical Signs

Emotional Signs

Mental Signs

Behavioural Signs

Headaches
Tension
Indigestion
Breathlessness
Rashes
Frequent colds
Recurrence of previous illness
Sleep disturbances
Dizziness
Dry mouth

Irritability
Tension
Moodiness
Alienation
Dissatisfaction
Tearful
Anxious
Withdrawal

Inability to concentrate
Worrying
Mistakes
Muddled thinking
Persistent negative thinking
Nervousness
Unsociability
Restlessness
Lying
Reckless driving
Increased drinking or smoking
Change in appetite

What to look for in others:

Work Performance

Emotional Behaviour

Withdrawal

Relationships

Inability to concentrate
Loss of enthusiasm
Declining/inconsistent performance
Failing to take annual leave
Crying
Aggressive behaviour
Over-reaction to problems
Sudden mood changes
Reluctance to give or offer support
Arriving late and leaving early
Extended lunches
Absenteeism
Criticism of others
Lack of co-operation
Marital or family difficulties
Poor employee relations

 

Stress, when prolonged or particularly intense, may lead to longer-term health problems such as:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • ulcers
  • thyroid disorders
  • gastrointestinal disturbances
  • psychological effects, such as anxiety and depression

Stress can also have detrimental consequences for your colleagues and the University. it can lead to:

  • an increase in sickness absence, which can result in workloads being shared amongst the other staff in your team and possibly causing them stress too;
  • reduced staff morale;
  • reduced staff performance;
  • staff seeking alternative employment, giving the University the expense of recruiting, inducting and training replacement staff

 

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