Job loss is considered one of the top ten traumatic life experiences. During the recession of the 1980’s , unemployment was considered by some professionals to be the greatest mental health problem facing Irish people at the time.
A person’s confidence and self esteem are often influenced , and sometimes defined, by what happens in their professional life. In the event of loss of employment, difficultly in adjustment to a changed income and social status, a lack of routine and structure in one’s daily life, feelings of rejection, concern for the future and financial worries may result in feelings of anxiety, anger, guilt, isolation, and depression. These are very common responses amongst those who have experienced job loss.
Your physical and psychological well-being impacts upon your ability to function effectively, for example by influencing your level of confidence and self esteem, by effecting your decision making ability or your ability to effectively interact with other people, including employers. It is therefore important to become aware of how the experience of job loss may be effecting you personally, in order that you may recognise and address any issues which may have a detrimental impact upon you. There are many ways to maintain a strong sense of well being and many supports available which encourage the development of skills ehich will aid you in this interim period whilst looking for work.
What is stress?
Stress occurs when the demands made upon a person are perceived by them to exceed their ability to cope. A persons perception that they are unable to cope with a particular demand tends to impact negatively on their thoughts and emotional responses, perhaps lending them to anticipate that difficulties are more formidable than they really are. However having too few challenges can also cause a person to become stressed.
Stress effects us in various ways, for example:
- Physically: headaches, pounding heart, rapid breathing, trembling, tense muscles, cold or sweaty hands, back and or neck problems
- Emotionally: anxiety, depression or anger
- Cognitively: an individual may experience poor concentration, forgetfulness, indecision, apathy
- Behaviorally: insomnia , crying, acting impulsively, increased drinking, smoking, gambling, proneness
Our attitude, personality and approach to life all influence how we respond to stress, for example:
- How we think about a problem
- How we cope with difficult situations
- Our personal life experience
- Our self-esteem
Whether we have a supportive network of family, friends and colleagues.
For more information on managing stress download our PDF.
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