EU-funded projects investigate the causes, treatments and management methods for stress
Impending deadlines, an out of control list of ‘to do’ items, interpersonal tension, grief and trauma – these situations can all lead to stress. It’s something that we have all gone through at some point in our lives. While it may feel unpleasant, we actually experience stress for a good reason – it releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones that prepare us for action (fight or flight). However, if stress is left unmanaged and becomes chronic, it can have a hugely negative impact and create or worsen health problems. Among many other things, increased psychological stress can contribute to developing and sustaining hypertension and cardiovascular disease development.
The constant stimulation offered by technology and the fast-pace of modern society are said to be boosting our stress levels. For example, studies have found an association between technology use before bed and stress. In the same vein, today’s workplaces have also been implicated in the stress debate. Stress is the second most frequently reported work-related health problem in Europe, with more than a half of all workers considering work-related stress to be common in their organisation. In the Enterprise Survey on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER) around eight in 10 European managers expressed concern about work-related stress in their workplaces. Sadly, many modern behaviour patterns often used as a way of coping with stress, such as using drugs, drinking alcohol, smoking, and over- or under-eating, can actually worsen the problem. The causes of stress – both internal and external – will not go away but we can change the way that we respond when stress strikes. That’s why EU-funded researchers are exploring the nature of stress, its many sources and the most effective ways of managing and treating it.This edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at just some of EU-funded projects that are investigating the causes, treatments and management methods for stress, as well as related news