International Stress Awareness Week 2018

International Stress Awareness Week 2018

Monday 5th - Friday 9th November 2018

A European Agency for Safety and Health at Work study shows that workplace related stress costs UK businesses £7-10 billion every year – that equates to 12.8 million working days lost due to stress.

To put that into context, it means that 44% of all work-related ill health is linked to stress, anxiety and depression. Source HSE

  • Studies from Harvard Medical School have shown a clear link between stress and heart disease. Read more...
  • People with high-stress jobs were found to have up to a 58% greater likelihood of having a stroke than those with low-stress jobs. Read more...

Stress Awareness Week

The International Stress Awareness Week begins on Monday 5thNovember this year and it’s the perfect time for you to highlight the awareness of workplace stress within your business. 

Below we have put together a brief guide to help in recognising stress. It helps people recognise four groups of common signs that may indicate high stress levels. These groups are psychological, emotional, physical and behavioural. Alternatively, you may wish to try our on-line stress test for yourself.

Recognising Stress

Below are just some of the signs that are indicators of excessive pressure than may come from work, home or yourself – often it can be all three areas. It’s important to note that there may be other possible causes, so it’s always best to see advice from a medial professional, such as your G.P..

Those people exhibiting the signs of stress will, over time, become less effective in the workplace. This effect has been referred to as “Presenteeism”.

Woman stressed at workPsychological Signs

  • Inability to concentrate or make simple decisions
  • Memory lapses
  • Easily distracted
  • Less intuitive & creative
  • Undue worrying
  • Negative thinking
  • Depression & anxiety
  • Prone to accidents
  • Insomnia or waking tired 

Emotional Signs

  • Tearful
  • Irritable
  • Mood swings
  • Extra sensitive to criticism
  • Defensive
  • Feeling out of control
  • Feeling unmotivated
  • Angry
  • Frustrated
  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of self-esteem

Physical Signs

  • Aches/pains & muscle tension/grinding teeth
  • Frequent colds/infections
  • Allergies/rashes/skin/irritations
  • Constipation/diarrhoea/IBS
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Indigestion/heartburn/ ulcers
  • Hyperventilating/lump in the throat/pins & needles
  • Dizziness/palpitations
  • Panic attacks/nausea
  • Physical tiredness
  • Menstrual changes/loss of libido/sexual problems
  • Heart problems/high blood pressure

Behavioural Signs

  • Not making time for relaxation or pleasurable activities
  • Increased reliance on alcohol, smoking, caffeine, recreational or illegal drugs
  • Becoming a workaholic
  • Poor time management or poor standards of work
  • Absenteeism
  • Self-neglect
  • Social withdrawal
  • Relationship problems
  • Recklessness
  • Aggressive or anger outbursts
  • Nervousness
  • Uncharacteristically lying

For more information on Stress Awareness Week you can visit the ISMA web site at or speak to the Sense team on 0800 488 0606 for details of how Sense can help deliver Wellness Days and Corporate Massage to your organisation.

Note: Article updated February 2020, April 2024