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The vast majority of people don’t go to work to get stressed.

Yet, when “The Boss”, Directors, Managers or Leaders suffer chronic stress they usually don’t treat themselves or others well.

Perhaps self-medicating with coffee, sugary snacks, alcohol or sleep aids. They overeat, don’t eat or eat the wrong things at the wrong time.

Work is the first, last and often only thing on their mind.

Their perception as a leader changes. 

Employees change.

Clients change. 

Everything changes.

Troubles pile up.

Health – mental and physical – deteriorates.

To stop the vicious downward spiral there are two choices:

1.  Reduce the stress and strain

2.  Boost resilience and the ability to weather the stress storm

Daily stress is often associated with the territory of being in a senior management position.

Stress often mimics the rise and fall of company performance – causing yo-yo stress or the term “stress cycling”. 

What is Stress Cycling

Stress Cycling means feeling chronically stressed by a prolonged downturn or overwhelming situation which seems to resolve, or calm, so stress diminishes.  Then another situation appears and the stress feels even worse than previously and so the cycle repeats.

When CEOs are overly stressed and experiencing burnout, they are not equipped to handle the responsibilities of their role effectively. This can lead to neglecting self-care and failing to manage teams well.

For people in high-level roles, the issue is amplified. 

Executives take on greater responsibility, feel they need to work longer hours, workload increases, the pressure of managing multiple teams, departments or divisions possibly with multiple timezones increases there is a high risk of chronic stress.


The number of working days the UK economy lost to stress has risen from 11.7 in 2015/16 to 17 million in 2021/22. This is over half of the available working days lost.  The results are personally devastating and damaging to companies.

Forward-thinking organisations are increasingly aware of the stress burden and proactively address employee wellbeing.

Well-being is still seen as an activity to go and do.  It isn’t. 

Expecting the significant cost of “silo wellbeing activities” to consistently increase productivity, performance and profits is not sustainable.  A more permanent and sustainable solution is required.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to reduce stress symptoms and reduce how often stress reappears.

A long-lasting solution requires a dual approach of people and business. 

First to soothe the symptoms of stress, and secondly to fix the root cause of the stressful situation so company performance and peace of mind improve.

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