Some stress can be beneficial — people need stimulation and challenge. If, however, stress is excessive and endured for long periods, it can lead to physical or mental ill health. The negative kind of stress may be caused by personal and domestic factors like bereavement, financial difficulties and problems with relationships, or by work-related factors such as:

  • heavy workload (reported by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in 2020 as the most common cause of stress)

  • management style

  • relationships with superiors, peers and subordinates, especially where there is bullying or harassment rather than a supportive culture

  • non-work relationships/family

  • the working environment

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