- Stress is the number one workforce risk issue, ranking above physical inactivity and obesity. Yet only 15% of employers identify improving the emotional and mental health (i.e., lessening the stress and anxiety) of employees as a top priority of their health and productivity programs. (Towers Watson/NBGH, 2013/2014 Staying@Work Survey)
- Just 22% of US employees are engaged and thriving at work. (Gallup, State of the American Workplace)
- 34% of workers lose an hour or more of productivity a day due to stress. (ComPsych, Stress Pulse 2013)
- 73% of disengaged employees say their stress levels are not manageable. (Towers Watson 2012 Global Workforce Study)
- Companies with engaged employees saw 2.5x more growth in their stock price than those with lower engagement. Those with greater employee engagement had 18% quarterly revenue growth during the past 12 months. (Quantum Workplace)
We live in stressful times. Television and radio shows bombard us with pictures and tales of disasters, natural and man-made. We no longer live small lives, we are members of a fragile global economy. So much of what stresses us—such as that list above—is beyond our control.
Coupled with this, we sometimes stagger under the weight of our personal burdens, everything from managing the home to maintaining relationships, handling workplace issues, addressing health concerns, finances, and day-to-day decisions.
Scientists have pointed out that moderate stress for women can actually help us perform at a higher level, but persistent stress can be debilitating and dangerous. Stress eats away at our ability to manage both our time and our responsibilities. Some wear their stress as a badge of honor to show how much they can handle. The underlying message is “Look at me. I’m Superwoman!” But that is not a healthy way to live.
Beware: Stress affects us both physically and psychologically. Physically, we might feel the proverbial butterflies in our stomachs, a pounding in our chest, or knots in our stomach during a stressful situation.
We can handle those for short periods of time, but if the situation continues, the negative physical and psychological affects will increase. When we are continually under chronic stress, our bodies react negatively sooner or later.