What Is Stress? Let’s Talk.

Stress – it’s something we all experience.

  • Whether at work or in our personal lives, we know that all too familiar feeling…

It’s the headaches, tension, racing hearts, and clammy hands when we face something well, stressful!

We talk about stress, but do we really understand what it’s all about? Let’s take a moment to look at stress and what it actually is.


Stress is tricky. 😬

It can sneak up on us, masking itself as ‘just another busy day at the office.’

But here’s the truth: Stress, when left unchecked, can do a number on our productivity, health, and office culture.


So, what is stress? 🤔

Stress can be defined as a state of mental or emotional tension from difficult situations.

But for me, I see it as anything and everything that’s outside of my control.

It’s essentially our body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or challenge. It’s like an inner alert system, designed to keep us ready and reactive.

The problem is when it becomes a constant companion.


Imagine a workplace where deadlines are relentless, where the pace is always frantic, and the pressure never lets up.

Employees might be:

  • Snapping at each other over small things
  • Feeling drained, yet struggling to switch off after work
  • Becoming increasingly absent or disengaged
  • Hesitating to take risks or propose new ideas

Ring any bells? 

A recent study shows that a staggering number of professionals are grappling with stress, yet it’s still a hush-hush topic in many offices.

It’s something we expect each other to get over or at least, get used to.

But what if workplaces actually worked to help supplement their people with the right resources and help to prevent, manage, and ultimately become more resilient to stress?


You see, stress resilience is an incredibly important part of creating Psychological Safety.

A stressed brain is NOT inclusive, learning, contributing, or challenging at its potential.

But when we have tools in place to take care of ourselves, we can start to contribute to a healthier working environment.

And the first part of managing stress better is to understand it.


So, How Do We Experience Stress?

  1. The Physical Side

Stress isn’t just mental – it shows up physically. Think about those times you’ve had headaches, felt tense, or were just too tired. These may be your body’s signals that it’s dealing with stress.

  1. Emotional Signs

Stress also plays a big role in how we feel emotionally. If you’re feeling more anxious, irritable, or generally down than usual, it might be stress making its presence felt.

  1. Changes in Behavior

Ever noticed you’re eating or sleeping differently when you’re stressed? Or maybe you’re quicker to get frustrated? These changes in our habits and reactions are often clear indicators of stress.

Btw, we have an animation where I talk more about recognizing stress. Watch it here!


So, why is it important to understand stress?

Understanding what stress looks like and how it affects us enables us to address it more effectively.

By getting to know the signs and effects of stress, we’re better equipped to deal with it.

It’s not about getting rid of stress completely – it’s about learning to manage it in a way that works for us and keeps our well-being in check.

And that’s why we’re starting a new series! 🥳

April is Stress Awareness Month and our newsletters will be focusing on stress resilience for building psychological safety.

Take care, and remember, every great day starts with the right mindset, deep breaths, and a cup of good coffee (or tea, if that’s your thing!).

Also, looking to explore stress management more?

Our Signature Stress Resilience Training offers even more practical techniques and insights to help you navigate stress at home or in the workplace. Click here to learn more!

Create a great day,

Amanda + Team Mako Mindfulness #MakoMindfulness


Feeling stressed out & psychologically unsafe at work?

Check out our guides!

The Mako Method™ Resource Guide for Stress Management

Download our resource guide and learn over 50 ways you can use quick breathing exercises, affirmations, gratitude, journaling, and perspectives practices throughout the day to manage your stress and create psychological safety at work.


The Mako Method™ for Psychological Safety – The Ultimate Checklist

Download our free checklist to learn our framework of best practices for creating and experiencing more Psychological Safety at Work. 

Which guide do you want?