Stress affects us all and no more so than in the workplace. According nidirect, one in five people suffers from workplace stress, with half a million people reporting that they have become ill as a result. With the economic downturn, stress management has never been more relevant than it is today.
Stress Awareness Day aims to promote awareness of these challenges, and to help individuals and organisations in changing behaviours and lifestyles which may lead to excessive stress. Unmanaged stress can develop into mental illnesses, which affect nearly 12 percent of the world’s population – about 450 million people – with one out of every four people around the world experiencing a mental illness.
This year Action Mental Health hosted a lunch time workshop to mark Stress Awareness Day on 7th November. Held at the Newtownards Town Hall in conjunction with Ards Borough Council, Action Mental Health provided an informal event delivered by Mandy Hanna highlighting stretching and breathing exercises you can do during your lunch hour at work. Michelle Major then introduced “Laughter Yoga”, combing the concept of “laughing for no reason” with Yogic breathing (Pranayama) with exercises designed to help us manage the stress in our lives in a positive way.
Ahead of the event, CEO David Babington said,
“The economic costs of unmanaged stress are huge and increasing – 11 million lost working days a year at the last count – while the personal costs for those who experience it, and their families and friends, is of equal concern. Unmanaged stress can develop into mental health problems, such as depression, as well as increasing the risk of physical problems such as heart disease. Despite the uncertain times ahead for our local workforce, if more people can learn to manage their stress through healthy approaches such as eating well, taking regular exercise, and practicing mindfulness, there is no reason why we can’t work our way to well-being.”