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National Stress Awareness Day 2023

1st November is National Stress Awareness Day.

Many of us will feel stressed from time to time – a small amount of stress can even be useful, as it can motivate us to get things done.

However, too much stress is bad for our physical and mental health. In this article, we will take you through what stress can feel like, what can make us stressed, and how we can manage it.

What is stress?

Stress is how the body responds to being under emotional or mental pressure. When we are stressed, we release stress hormones that trigger our body’s “fight or flight” response – this can sometimes be useful, as it can push us on through fear or pain.

But too much stress can leave us in “fight or flight” permanently, which can have significant effects on our lives and overall health.

What can stress feel like?

Everyone is different and will react to things differently, but stress can sometimes make us feel:

  • Anxious, worried or nervous
  • Afraid
  • Frustrated or irritable
  • Sad
  • Depressed
  • Angry

What can make us feel stressed?

  • Bereavement
  • Losing a job
  • Divorce or relationship breakdown
  • Money problems
  • Work related stress

Positive things like starting a new job, moving house and going abroad can also cause stress.

How can we manage stress?

  • Think about what it is that is making you stressed – Is there anything you can do about it, are you taking on too much, or could anyone help you?
  • Confide in someone you trust – A problem shared can be a problem halved. Talking to someone you trust can help you to see things in a different perspective, giving you more clarity.
  • Take time out for yourself – Practice self-care by doing things you enjoy and looking after yourself.
  • Get some exercise – Exercise is great for managing stress due to the endorphins we release. Even a quick 10 minute walk in the fresh air can help.
  • Get enough sleep – reducing your caffeine intake and staying away from screens before you go to bed can help with this.

If you’re struggling, self-refer to our free NHS Talking Therapies service via the button below or visit this page for more information on the services we offer.

Someone seeking mental health support on a laptop

Published date:

1st November 2023

In partnership with:

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