Taking steps to manage stress better
Signs of stress
Stress is the feeling of being unable to cope because of too much mental or emotional pressure.
For example, dealing with changing demands and pressures from different areas of life, such as children’s needs, money worries, relationships or concerns about work.
If you think you're suffering from work-related stress you should speak to your employer.
Common signs of stress include:
- sleeping problems
- loss of appetite
- difficulty concentrating
You may feel anxious, irritable, low in self-esteem, have racing thoughts, worry constantly or go over things in your head.
Stress causes a surge of hormones in your body. These stress hormones are released to help you to deal with pressures or threats – the so-called 'fight or flight' response.
People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else.
You may notice that you lose your temper more easily, drink more, or act unreasonably.
People sometimes experience headaches, muscle tension or pain, or dizziness and fatigue.
Sometimes when stress is severe or goes on for a long time it can lead to burnout, with extreme emotional and physical exhaustion.
Dealing with stress
There are some practical steps you can take to deal with stress:
meet with friends and family and take the time to talk about how you and they are feeling and listen to others
- people tend to cope with stress differently, so sharing personal experiences of coping might also help you and someone else deal with stress better
- be active to help to reduce the impact of stress on the body and mind - even if it’s a gentle walk in the park, a cycle, gardening or even housework, it can count as physical activity
- explore self-help toolkits and learn new skills to help you cope better with stress, or take part in the free online stress control classes available
- stop, pause and take a moment to be still and look around you, focus on your breathing
- think about reducing your time watching the news and browsing social media if it is having a negative impact
- try to become aware of what triggers tend to cause stress and anxiety and think about reducing these stress triggers - aim to resolve those with coping strategies
The key is to take positive action before stress really begins to affect your health and wellbeing.
Stress control classes
Free stress control classes are available. They teach skills and techniques for managing stress.
You can find out more at this link: