Well, it depends how you define stress, and that’s the interesting part.
Stress and pressure are often used interchangeably and although closely related, they are different, and understanding the difference is crucial to optimising performance and wellbeing.
Whilst stress is ‘the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them’ (HSE, 2020). Pressure, however, has a significant correlation with psychological wellbeing and performance.
The right amount of pressure helps us remain focused, motivated, creative and productive, and without enough pressure we would become bored, disengaged and even depressed due to lack of challenge, meaning or purpose.
International Stress Awareness Week is a great time for us all, and in particular Line Managers, to consider where people are on that pressure/stress continuum and how to help people reach optimum performance and wellbeing.