Stress is a psychological belief that what is expected of you is more than you can deliver. Discover the 4 common stress profiles and get to know the warning signs.

Stress is a psychological belief that what is expected of you is more than you can deliver. It affects a huge amount of people, and according to the CIPD/Simply Health 2011 Absence Management Report, costs UK businesses £13 billion every year. How can you tell if you're stressed and what steps can you take to minimise the impact on your work and health?

Picture this scenario: you've just returned to work from holiday to 100 emails, your boss has called an emergency meeting, and your team wants you to review the work they've done while you were away.

Are you stressed? The warning signs

- You dread going into work, or call in sick to avoid the office
- There's tension between you and your colleagues
- You work late every night, but you're not as productive as usual
- You can't sleep
- You can't make decisions
- You have mood swings and confrontations.

Stress affects everyone, but we each have our own way of dealing with it.

How do you handle stress? 4 common stress profiles

1. The denier

You're a denier if:

- You catch yourself thinking: “If I don't know about it, then I won't have to worry about it.”
Will this tactic work?:

- The demands will pile up and become an even bigger problem than they were in the beginning.

Top tip: Give yourself time to reflect on the situation and come up with other solutions. Speak to your boss who can help you prioritise your workload effectively. Don't let it drag on for too long.

2. The ditherer

You're a ditherer if:

- You bounce around on the internet, refreshing your Facebook page every 2 minutes and reading the gossip columns. You try to get back to work, but you become easily distracted and search for anything to keep you from the task at hand.

Will this tactic work?

- Like the denier, this won't work in the long-term; acting like you're always busy may fool people for a bit, but the lack of work being produced won't fly for long.

Top tip: Ensure your environment is set up to help you work. Keep your desk clutter free and even move your desk so you're not distracted by colleagues. Take regular breaks – leave internet surfing to these times. Keep a list of your daily tasks, so you can tick these off one by one when complete. This will help you keep a visual check on your productivity.

3. The doer

You're a doer if:

- You're known as the office workaholic; you're the first one there, the last one to leave, and you eat your lunch at your desk. You may even be rewarded for all of your hard work.

Will this tactic work?:

- The more work you do, the more work you create for yourself. It's a simple fact of life that there will always be more work than there is time, so if your goal is to get everything on your list done, then you will burn yourself out. If you can tone down and find some time to recharge once in a while, this can be a great and efficient way to work.

Top tip: Create a short list of daily must-dos, and keep another list of tasks that need to get done eventually. If you're done the must-dos, don't stay late to finish the other list. Prioritising on a daily basis will give you enough time to recharge each day, which will help you avoid burnout.

4. The decision-maker

You're a decision-maker if:

- You have a clear idea of what is urgent and important, and you know when to delay and delegate. You don't get caught up in the small stuff.

Will this tactic work?

- Decision-makers are the most effective at managing stress because they recognise when something is truly important and they don't waste time on inconsequential tasks. Their ability to focus allows them to get the important things done, and they are often stress-free because they understand what's important and how to deliver on it.

Top tip: Be aware of how much work you're offloading on co-workers and your subordinates. Keeping their stress levels low will help to keep yours in check, too.

We all exhibit behaviours from each profile from time to time, but the key to combatting stress is admitting that you're feeling overwhelmed and then finding ways to remedy the situation.

For further career advice and the latest HR Jobs in London and the UK please visit Changeboard, the first stop for HR jobs and senior professionals. Visit http://www.changeboard.com.

Author's Bio: 

For career advice and the latest HR Jobs in London and the UK please visit Changeboard, the first stop for HR jobs and senior professionals. Visit http://www.changeboard.com.