Just how stressed are you? The BBC has come up with an online stress test, compiled by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, to mark the UK's National Stress Awareness Day which happened to fall on November 6.
If you suffer from stress - and according to research by AXA Insurance the incidence has doubled in four years - every day should be stress awareness day.
How do you become aware of it? We have a list of the signs of stress and how to tackle Stress Management on this website.
As the British organisers point out, too many people try to rationalise the symptoms away and they often accumulate until the victim is forced to take notice.
The behavioural signs offer the best clues, although by the time they are acknowledged, stress has generally been going on for quite some time.
Here's what you might look for:
Having no time for relaxation or fun
Being accident-prone, forgetful
Increased use of cigarettes, orother addictive substances
Poor time management and deteriorating work habits
Aggression and anger displays
Given that the annual cost of absenteeism as a result of stress is estimated at £13 billion, a significant drain on the bottom line of UK business (according to Safe Work Australia, the annual bill here is $10 billion) psychologists report an increase in the number of organisations taking advantage of Employee Assistance Programs.
Psychology Melbourne offers affordable Employee Assistance Program packages to allow businesses to help their employees address their stress.
A study released by Safe Work Australia reported some sobering facts for companies that fail the stress awareness test:
Mental stress claims are the most expensive form of workers' compensation claims.
They are more common among professionals, and roughly one third are caused by work pressure
Jill Wright (MAPS, AAFT, AICD) is the Director and Principal Psychologist at Psychology Melbourne. Jill was twice elected General Director of the Australian Psychological Society and established the APS Victorian branch Study Group Network. Find out more about Jill Wright.
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