FACT: The British economy is losing £2.4billion a year due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety *

FACT: The total number of working days lost due to this condition in 2014/15 was 9.9 million days. This equated to an average of 23 days lost per case*

FACT: Stress accounted for 43% of all days off in 2014/15 *

FACT: Stress and anxiety-related illness affected 1,380 workers per 100,000 last year *

FACT: Xhilarate Office Massage is the perfect solution to help combat ever-increasing levels of physical and mental stress in the workplace.

*Latest Estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS)

According to the World Health Organization, stress is “the health epidemic of the 21st century,” and the driver of many chronic diseases. While some amount of stress is essential for productive performance, excessive stress greatly affects the health, productivity and engagement of an organization.

The dictionary defines stress as a constraining or impelling force, effort or demand upon physical or mental energy. A stressor is a person or situation that makes you become stressed. Stress is synonymous with today’s fast thinking, fast moving lifestyle. We in the modern world are far more likely to suffer from the effects of stress than our ancestors were. 70% of all illness is now directly attributed to stress. Modern society and the financial climate with its pressures, fears and general uncertainty regarding work, home and family life, tends to present situation upon situation in which the possibility of becoming stressed is ever present.

Stress is an unavoidable part of modern life: everyone experiences stress and everyday stresses are not necessarily harmful. In fact, stress is not always negative but can often be just stimulating enough to make life enjoyable, or at least interesting! Some people handle stress very well whilst others are more negatively influenced by it. Yet, it is the effect of long-term stress that can be positively harmful to our bodies.

What is Stress?

Stress initially evolved as an adaptive, even protective process, ensuring our survival. Scientists call this process the fight-or-flight response: a situation in which, faced with mortal danger, you must decide within a split second whether to fight or flee. In this moment of truth, all body systems are mobilised to direct your entire energy toward a single goal: overcoming or avoiding danger or threat and returning the system as a whole to a dynamically balanced state. Problems arise, however, when the stress response is inappropriately activated or continues for too long. When the stress response overstays its welcome, the very systems and processes designed to protect us from a momentary threat or that help us cope with a short-term challenge become damaging in the long term, causing disruption and imbalance in the body and mind.

Lack of predictability, control or outlets for frustration are all factors that appear to make any situation dangerously stressful. When these elements are present, even innocuous situations can become stressful and produce a reaction that is completely out of proportion to the cause. It comes down to the fact that it’s not the situation but our reaction to it that creates the stress in our lives. Our fears and anxieties about past events repeating themselves add to the vicious circle and the uncertainties of life crowd our mind with frightening possibilities.

As human beings we have a tendency to focus on the past and the future and withdraw our attention from the present moment. Yet it is in the present moment that we have the greatest clarity to deal with any situation. Life is a journey and enjoying it can replace the holding back and holding on which in turn can create fear and ultimately stress.