Stress Awareness

National Stress Awareness Day

Stress Awareness Strategies

We all suffer from stress at various times in our lives but understanding what ‘stress’ actually means, how you can identify it and best of all, how you can help yourself manage stress is fundamental to continued health and wellbeing.

As part of National Stress Awareness Day we have put together some information, tips and supportive resources to help you understand a little bit more.

Stress can be described as the way someone feels when they perceive a situation to be applying an abnormal pressure on their psychological and physiological wellbeing. The causes of stress vary from person to person and between different environments; however, some common stresses include:

  • Work
  • Money
  • Family life
  • Relationship problems
  • Intrinsic competitiveness ( expecting yourself to do more than is realistic)
  • Big changes
  • and many more

Stress is a condition which can gradually increase until it gets out of control and it is important to understand what you can do to help prevent it getting to this stage. So how can you determine if you are ‘stressed’?

You may start to notice things like your eating habits and patterns change, your skin complexion can change, you struggle to get off to sleep or you have interrupted sleep patterns.

You may find your mood changes and you become easily irritated or agitated compared to before or perhaps you find yourself over-worrying and not being able to switch your mind off. Everyone is different so you may experience some of these symptoms or experience things such as regular headaches. Regardless, being able to identify that you are stressed early is the most important step in being able to get it under control.

Here are some lifestyle strategies that can help you manage stress:

  • Focus on time management strategies – feeling overwhelmed with time pressures over a period of time can often cause people to experience stress.
  • Exercise on a daily basis – take some time to yourself to switch off and clear your mind and instead release endorphins which will help you feel better but also make you more alert and productive when you return to work.
  • Try and adopt a daily routine – routines help with pressures as they instil a sense of organisation and control which can help people manage stresses.
  • Minimise stimulants which further increase stress hormones; therefore limit caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
  • Practise stress reducing exercises such as progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness exercises or tai chi.

Understanding what are likely to be your triggers for excessive pressures which lead to stress is the key to preventing and managing the symptoms. If you feel you need additional support then it is always recommended to seek advice from a medical professional.

For further help, advice and education take a few minutes to look around our recommended resource websites:

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/understanding-stress.aspx

http://www.stress.org.uk/recognising-workplace-stress/

http://www.stress.org.uk/

http://www.stress.org.uk/recognising-workplace-stress/