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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the Workplace
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Signs & symptoms

Stress can cause changes in those experiencing it. In some cases there are clear signs that people are experiencing stress at work and if these can be identified early, action can be taken before the pressure becomes a problem. This may make it easier to reduce and eliminate the causes.

It is important that everyone looks out for changes in a person's or a group's behaviour. However, in many cases the changes may only be noticeable to the person subject to the stress and so it is also important to look at how you are feeling and try to identify any potential issues you may have as early as possible and take positive action to address them; this may be raising the matter with a line manager, talking to an occupational health professional or your own GP.

Stress can show itself in many different ways - see below. Some of the items in this list may not be signs of stress if people always behave this way. Managers may need to manage staff exhibiting some of these signs differently. You are particularly looking for changes in the way people behave that could be linked with excessive pressures.

Signs of stress in individuals

If you are suffering from some of the following symptoms it may indicate that you are feeling the effects of stress. If you find that work or aspects of your work bring on or make these symptoms worse, speak to your line manager, trade union representative or your HR department. It may be that some action taken at an early stage will ease the stress and reduce or stop the symptoms.

Physical syptoms:
Heart racing
Dry mouth & many other symptoms

Emotional symptoms
Negative or depressive feeling
Disappointment with yourself
Increased emotional reactions - more tearful or sensitive or aggressive
Loneliness, withdrawn
Loss of motivation commitment and confidence
Mood swings (not behavioural)

Poor memory

Changes from your normal behaviour

Changes in eating habits
Increased smoking, drinking or drug taking 'to cope'
Mood swings effecting your behaviour
Changes in sleep patterns
Twitchy, nervous behaviour
Changes in attendance such as arriving later or taking more time off.

Please note; 
these are indicators of behaviour of those experiencing stress. They may also be indicative of other conditions. If you are concerned about yourself please seek advice from your GP. If you are concerned about a colleague try to convince them to see their GP.

Health & Safety Executive
guidance reproduced within this section of our website is done so under the terms of an Open Government Licence.

Causes of Stress
Signs & symptoms
Stress at work
Stress outside of work
Why take action?
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