Guest Post – Susie Flashman Jarvis from the

Stress is a current buzz word in our world of comparison and relentless drive.

It is a by-product of a life-style where to pause is often seen as to fail. And yet stop we must or something that gets us out of the way of an out of control car, or out of bed in the morning can become a chronic condition. As opposed to a useful commodity that energises us.

So, what is stress?

It is a burst of energy that enables us to move, to study, to set a goal and achieve it. It is not all bad.


There are two types of stress:

Acute: where the levels rise in the face of an event or to manage a situation, only to settle down again once things return to normal. It is the adrenal response often known as the fight or flight hormone.

Chronic: where the relentless, never-ending slog is unremittent and there is no space to pause. This type of stress can be a killer.


Because when stress becomes chronic the cortisol levels in the body remain elevated.  These can cause a litany of symptoms that are unpleasant at one end of the scale and can be fatal at the other.


Cortisol is produced when we become stressed, but when the danger has passed, or the task has been completed it settles down to normal levels. When stress is unrelenting cortisol levels remain elevated and result in many symptoms that are often laid at the feet of tiredness.

Here are a few.

Brain fog. Cortisol can shrink neurons in the hippocampus in the brain. This part stores our memories. It can also prevent new brain cells being made and as brain cells need to be frequently renewed the symptoms are obvious. Dementia is on the increase in middle age, as is the risk of mental health problems.

Hypertension- raised blood pressure. Relentless raised blood pressure can lead to strokes and even heart attacks.

Increased stomach acid. This can lead to ulcers.

Increased cholesterol. This can cause many health issues blocking arteries and possibly vascular dementia.

Depletes neurotransmitters. Serotonin is the feel-good hormone and dopamine is responsible for motivation. Lack of either creates lethargy and depressed state.

As you can see leaving stress undealt with is not a smart move.

The effect in the work place.

The work-place with all the stresses to raise the bottom line, to achieve. To work at peak performance, to always wear a mask can be a breeding ground for stress and mental health issues.

Suicide although decreasing is still happening and yet we know that having a safe place to talk can make a difference.

Organisations that have a coaching culture, investing in their staff by providing support often mitigate the statistics below.

  • 1 in 10 workers states that stress causes them to take sick days.
  • 47% have disrupted concentration
  • 65% suffer from sleep loss
  • 1 in 5 uses alcohol, caffeine and smoking to manage.
  • 35% comfort eat and 32% have less productivity.
  • 45% are stressed due to money concerns
  • 21% suffer high-stress several times a week
  • 46% have family stress

In summary.

The impact of stress in our lives whether at work or at home can be disastrous. It is time to take some serious action.

Try these for size.

  • Every day have a moment of stillness
  • Stop every 50 minutes if possible and move your body. It has been proven that we function better in shorter time-frames.
  • Take regular exercise.
  • Eat a healthy lunch- get some fresh air if possible.
  • Make a focused list to work through
  • Share your burdens
  • Leave your work at work. Do an exercise to ensure you don’t sneak it home with you.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • One hour before bed turn off screens
  • Cut down on caffeine and alcohol.

If you struggle with any of the above, either personally or within your work-place, you may need some professional support.

Guest Post – Susie Flashman Jarvis from the