The one thing that stress, anxiety and depression has in common | The Oxford Review - OR Briefings

The one thing that stress, anxiety and depression has in common

Research Briefing

Keywords: repetitive negative thinking, rumination, worry, depression, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, mindfulness, mental health, well-being, stress

Some of the fastest growing and most common reasons for work absence include stress, depression, anxiety and a range of other negative mental health issues, and yet not everybody succumbs to these health issues. Indeed, you can have two people doing a similar job in similar circumstances, at the same time, and one will thrive in those conditions and the other will develop severe mental health issues. Understanding what leads to either outcome is important, not just for the individuals concerned, but also for the organisations they work in.

Recent research since the late 1990s has found that there are two common antecedents to stress and depressive illnesses:

  1. Rumination – this refers to the process of continually going over negative past events and, in particular, continually trying to work out what is the cause of an individual’s distress or anguish.
  2. Worry – on the other hand refers to continually thinking about and having concern over potential threats, risks, uncertainties and ambiguities of negative things that may happen in the future.

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