Stress. It’s inescapable. No matter how much bikram yoga, Pilates, breathing work and meditation we do, a life without stress is simply impossible to achieve. And when stress hits us, it comes with all the oh-so-familiar symptoms. We’re likely to feel our muscles tighten, a feeling of edginess creeping over us, and a shallowing of our breath. We’ll have that awful sensation of needing to get 1001 things done, coupled with an inability to focus on any of them. We can’t think where to start and want to tear our hair out or strike the nearest inanimate object. Our heart-rate will go up and, no matter what we do, we’ll find it hard to get comfortable. Just as we’re trying to calm down and restore order to our world, we’ll have an itch in that hard-to-reach place in the middle of our backs. We’ll want to cry and say, ‘I give up! You win, cruel world!’. Everything feels dramatic and our irritability levels soar off the charts. Thank heavens that some of us will have had the forethought to book a soothing session of gay massage. But sometimes we need more than that.
Stress hits all of us in different ways and we all have our own coping mechanisms. For some, this means getting on the telephone and pouring our hearts out to close friends. Others collapse in bed and huddle under the covers, unwilling to face the world until it becomes absolutely necessary. And, of course, the quick fix of alcohol appeals to many, although all you have to do is take a look at your nearest high street late at night to see the long-term effects this has on people who couldn’t seem to put down the bottle. What’s needed are healthy ways of treating stress because a recent study on the impact of work stress on health has produced some alarming findings. What’s been revealed is that men with heart disease, diabetes or a history of stroke are nearly 70 per cent more likely to die prematurely, if they have demanding jobs and little power to control their workload.
This 14-year study has highlighted the dreadful toll exacted by stress in the workplace and it indicates that companies need to rethink the way they treat their employees, particularly the most vulnerable among them. The research followed over 100,000 men, some with and some without cardiometabolic disease. Subjects lived in Finland, Sweden, the UK and France. By the time the study was concluded, almost 4000 participants had died. Work stress, the study suggests, affects people in two different ways. The first effect – ‘job strain’ – is when you have a demanding job but no power to exercise control over the demands. The second – ‘effort-reward imbalance’ – is, as the name suggests, when you put a lot into your job but get little back.
Among the conclusions, it appears that being overwhelmed at work is almost as bad for you as heavy smoking, having high cholesterol, being obese, not exercising or having an alcohol problem. So it’s serious. Why not set out on the path to coping with stress right away by booking gay massage London? Then, when you’re calmer, have a think about whether you’re experiencing either of the two stress effects and then consider talking to your boss or HR department.