What is a healthy level of stress?

What is the right level of healthy stress? A small dose of stress is good for productivity as stress is necessary to lift one’s performance. However, a lot of it risks damage to personal wellbeing and the bottom line of companies. Once optimal performance is reached, further pressure on individuals will lead to stress and fatigue.¬†

A recent survey by YouGov and the Mental Health Foundation revealed 74% of UK adults have experienced so much stress that at some point they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. An alarming 32% experienced suicidal feelings as a result.

The Mental Health Foundation further reported that in 2018:-

    • 61% of those who have felt stressed reported feeling anxious, and
    • 51% reported feeling depressed.

Statistics in America are even more shocking. The American Institute of Stress reported 83% of workers suffer from workplace stress. Alarmingly, work-related stress causes 120,000 deaths and results in $190 billion in healthcare costs yearly.

Many around and including us, are starting to reach levels of daily stress which are unsustainable and will ultimately lead to burnout.

Today, our working lives are faster, more competitive and global than ever before. Stress is indeed good but care must be taken to minimise anxiety, depression and burnout. Continuous pressure is taking a significant toll on mental and physical health.

Eradicating workplace stress is not only unrealistic, it also shouldn’t be the end goal as good stress drives creativity & performance. Instead organisations need to put in place strategies that strike a healthy balance between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ stress; and equipping their valued resources with the knowledge to take back control whilst building up their internal capacity to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of stress, challenge or adversity!