Category Archives: stress and anxiety

I worry what people think of me and if they like me

I worry what people think of me

I can’t do that as people may judge me!

No-one likes me.

What happens if I’m rejected?

Sound familiar? These are common statements that I often hear my clients say. Often clients judge themselves on how popular they are or they will spend a lot of time worrying what people think of them or if they like them. The need to be liked by everyone only creates worry, anxiety and often loneliness. I find with my clients that it is common for them to worry more about people they do not know well. They spend lots of energy trying to please people who are not important to them.

Focus on those who matter

Continue reading

Understanding Panic Attacks

understanding panic attacksWhat are panic attacks?

Panic attacks are common, occurring in at least five per cent of the population. Many clients come to me who have experienced panic attacks. A common remark is that clients feel their panic attacks are misunderstood and dismissed by other people. Panic attacks are not signs of weakness Continue reading

The Stigma of Mental Health

Experiencing stigma of mental health

stigma mental healthThe other month, I was in a meeting of a social group. One member (who I shall call Katie) was told the group that they were physically unwell. The general response from the group was advising Katie to take it easy with a few people offered to help her out with her set tasks. Another member (Harriet) mentioned they suffered from anxiety. Alarming, than rather asking Harriet how they could best support her with her anxiety, a member suggested that they should put themselves in a situation where they feel anxious to help them overcome it Continue reading

Relationship between thoughts and feelings

thought and feeling relationshipFeelings affect us

Positive or negative feelings affect what happen to us. For example, if we are given a birthday present, we feel elated and happy, but if our child breaks our birthday present, we feel angry and upset.  In other words, the situation we are in has a direct effect on our feelings.

Thoughts control our feelings

However, it can be more complicated. Continue reading

Steps to beating job burnout



Job burnout

Job burnout

The last post on stress at work looked at what the warning signs of work stress were. This post will look at steps to take to help you tackle stress at work and beat job burnout.

As soon as the first signs of stress at work appear action must be taken and you need to recognise the problem. Recognition and acceptance is the key to a series of importance steps to be taken.




The following are useful steps to take to help relieve stress and prevent job burnout: Continue reading

Signs of work stress

work stressAs your alarm goes off in the morning and you stir into consciousness, do thoughts of work start to feel you with dread? Do you find it difficult to get up? When you think of work do you get a pain in the chest? Have you lost interest in your work, feel you have no motivation and constantly feel exhausted?

Sounds like you?

It could mean you have job burnout where you have exhausted your capabilities or you have an increased workload putting pressure on you to perform or the high stress work environment and emotional demands of the job means you are unable to cope.  Sadly, the problem of stress and burnout are continuously rising within the UK and is a universal problem. Work stress issues are prevalent among clients who I see from Employment Assistant Programmes. You may not be surprised to hear that teaching and performance pay jobs make up a high amount of my clients.

What causes stress or job burnout?

There are many reasons that can cause stress or job burnout.

  1. Uncertainly in the workplace, for example take-over battles and redundancy threats can lead to stress and mistrust. As a recent employee at a local college, I can see the damage that re-organisation has caused.  When it was first announced staff members were working over and above their normal duties so it slowly became expected of them. Then as time lapsed staff didn’t know who to trust, apathy among the staff built, people were quick to blame each other rather than support each other and there was an overall lack of motivation.  In a large institution this is hard to manage especially when the organisation affects management as well. As a result levels of stress rise.
  1. Some jobs, for example like teachers, doctors, fireman, air traffic control, police officers, journalists and humanitarian aid work are known stressful jobs. The nature of the job is stressful and people are aware of this. However, long hours, poor pay, tight deadlines, media pressure, pressure to perform all adds to the stress. People in these jobs are overly stressed and eventually burnout, often resulting in them leaving the profession. I have a friend who recently re-trained as a teacher in a low performing school. She was highly motivated at the beginning and had a lot to offer the profession. However, after 2 years of constant pressure and lack of support, she is leaving the profession. This is not uncommon within the professions mentioned above.
  1. Overwork can be a response to demands of the firm or organisation, a sign of impending job burnout. Trying to make up for inefficiency with long hours, or attempts to increase take-home pay put a lot of pressure on employees. Overwork eventually leads to people wearing themselves out adding to their stress.
  1. Live events – The death within the family, divorce or separation, a serious accident can affect our health and well-being. Additionally life events such as financial worry or friction with the boss leads to physical illness and affect our overall mental well-being. I remember when I was in a serious car accident; I throw myself back into the job, thinking it would help me cope with the trauma. It just led to a spiral downturn resulting in me taking time out a year down the line.

So what are the warning signs of stress?

It is crucial to recognise the warning signs of stress. Often it is difficult for the person experiencing stress to recognise them, so it falls to spouse, family member or work colleagues.  The following physical signs are if these are the only signs then it is easier to spot. If you suffer from any of the symptoms below, then it may be worth reflecting on your job and how you feel about it.

  • Headache, noises in the ear, dizzy spells
  • Vague ill health, poor appetite and weight loss
  • Stomach ache and diarrhoea
  • Palpitations, chest pains
  • Nervous tics, nail biting and scratching
  • Sleeplessness and bad dreams
  • Irritability and depression
  • Fatigue and restlessness
  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Increased smoking, use of alcohol and tranquillizers

The importance of spotting early signs of stress cannot be over emphasised because simplejob burnout actions can often be taken. It will not necessarily cure the problem but it will help reduce them and prevent major health or mental problems.

What to do about burnout and job stress?

Steps to take to reduce work stress are discussed in the next blog post.

Walk Talk Therapy in Sheffield

Walk talk sheffieldA few years ago, I came across a book called ‘Working it out: Using exercise in Psychotherapy’.  This book highlights that walking during counselling or therapy:

  • Encourages a client to be more physical active
  • Helps a client get ‘unstuck’ when talking about difficult issues
  • Physical activity increases creative and deeper thinking

Continue reading