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Woman looking stressed between piles of books

If your work is causing you to feel overwhelmed and stressed, it can be difficult to pinpoint the factors which make you feel this way. 

What is stress?

It is important to distinguish between pressure and stress. Pressure is part of work and keeps us motivated and productive. But too much pressure, or pressure that lasts for a long time, can lead to stress.

Stress is not an illness but it can make you ill, so recognising the signs of stress and any contributory factors early will help to take steps to stop, lower and manage stress before it impacts your mental and physical state.

Identifying the causes of stress early can help prevent more serious health issues later on. It’s important that as individuals we all take responsibility for recognising what is causing us stress and how we can reduce it. Some levels of stress are healthy as it helps us to be able to become more resilient but continued stress and high levels can become more serious and potentially could lead to workplace burnout.

Further support

  • If you feel that stress, either from work or in life, is making you ill it is strongly recommended that you seek advice. Stress can cause many different symptoms. It might affect how you feel physically, mentally and also how you behave.
  • You might notice a change in your physical symptoms such as headaches, tension in your jaw, gastrointestinal symptoms to name but a few. When we become stressed it can then become harder to concentrate and to prioritise our workload and you may notice changes in your behaviours, maybe snapping at people or becoming quieter or withdrawing from meetings.
  • If that is the case there are places you can go to for support, such as your own GP, Occupational Health, the Employee Assistance Programme, Human Resources, and other organisations that you can contact both locally and nationally.  Refective Supervision is available for staff through Occupational Health.  Please email for more details.