How to Recognize the Signs of stress and help a stressed Employee

Now more than ever stress is having a significant negative impact on the physical emotional and psychological being of humans. In one view, stress also called eustress leads to positive responses-like the feeling before going on a rollercoaster or finishing that last round of set in the gym. On contrary, distress can cause irritability, sadness, physical illness, and emotional & body exhaustion also often called burnout.

Physical Signs

Physiological Stress activates the fight or flight response causing multiple changes in the human body including

  • Blood pressure rises
  • Heart and respiration rate increases
  • Blood Sugar levels rise
  • Often Headaches
  • Palms sweat
  • Muscles tense
Emotional Signs

Emotional Stress is not directly observable, identifying the emotions would need to reflect internally

  • Repetitive thoughts
  • Irritability
  • Mood Swings
  • Increase the feeling of sadness
  • Fear or worry
Behavioral Signs

The Observable changes that a stressor makes can be identified as

  • More than usual crying
  • Leg shaking or nail biting
  • Anger outbursts
  • Change in Appetite
  • Sleep issues
  • Blaming
  • Avoidance
How to help a stressed employee

Stress has become a major feature of modern living and work life. Burnout related to work can be caused due to

(a.) occupational exhaustion – when there are job demands more than work challenges which promote mental growth

(b.) Loss of Empathy – not being able to knowledge others’ emotions, loss of regard for others, and

(c.) Personal accomplishment – the sense of fulfillment and positive view of professional accomplishments.

Creating a safe space

It’s important to have an emotionally safe environment to build a trusting relationship within the workplace. A healthy relationship with colleagues helps to bring the best solutions and evokes positive emotions like joy to work.

Realistic Goals

If you have more responsibilities than your body and mind allow you to have, you would reach an exhaustion stage. Take a view of your physical and emotional state before taking on any extra task.


Many studies have shown the importance of being physically active Exercise like walking, cycling, or yoga release chemicals like endorphins which help the body to feel better and trigger positive feelings.

Spend time wisely

Try to step out of your workplace when you are not working, for instance, if you work from home in your bedroom – try to spend the rest of the day outside the room.

This blog was written under the expert guidance and feedback from Ms.Pooja Varma, Clinical Psychologist at Edited and Coordinated by Ram

You May Also Like