Why do we get "stressed" and how can we manage it?

Stress is usually a reaction to mental or emotional pressure. It's often related to feeling like you're losing control over something, but sometimes there's no obvious cause. When you're feeling anxious or scared, your body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.

Most people feel stressed sometimes and some people find stress helpful or even motivating. But if stress is affecting your life, there are things you can try that may help.

It's not always easy to recognise when stress is the reason you're feeling or acting differently.

Physical symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, muscle tension pain, stomach problems, chest pain or a faster heartbeat.

Mental Symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, struggling to make decisions, feeling overwhelmed, constantly worrying or being forgetful

You may recognise a change in your behaviour such as being irritable and snappy, sleeping too much or too little, eating too much or too little, avoiding certain places or people, drinking or smoking more.

What can i do if i'm feeling stressed?

Empty your "bucket". Sometimes you can feel stressed because you have lots of emotional thoughts, Try talking to a friend or family member or an organisation such as the Samaritans. Releasing your thoughts "emptying your bucket" can make you feel "lighter" and therefore less stressed. It's called "sharing the burden".

Exercise makes you feel good because it releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improves your mood. ... If you exercise regularly , it can reduce your stress and symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and help with recovery from mental health issues.

Stress in the workplace

Whatever your work demands, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from the damaging effects of stress, improve your job satisfaction, and bolster your well-being in and out of the workplace.

Time Management

Create a balanced schedule. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Try to find a balance between work and family life, social activities, daily responsibilities and downtime.

Leave earlier in the morning. Even 10-15 minutes can make the difference between frantically rushing and having time to ease into your day. If you’re always running late, set your clocks and watches fast to give yourself extra time and decrease your stress levels.

Take your breaks. It's important that you are taking your breaks. This allows you to take time out and refocus.

Establish healthy boundaries. Many of us feel pressured to be available 24 hours a day or obliged to keep checking our smartphones for work-related messages and updates. But it’s important to maintain periods where you’re not working or thinking about work. That may mean not checking emails or taking work calls at home in the evening or at weekends.

Don’t over-commit yourself. Avoid scheduling things back-to-back or trying to fit too much into one day. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.

NHS Advice:

See a GP if:

You're struggling to cope with stress, things you're trying yourself are not helping or you would prefer to get a referral from a GP

Call 111 or ask for an urgent GP appointment if:

you need help urgently, but it's not an emergency 111 can tell you the right place to get help if you need to see someone. Go to 111.nhs.uk or call: 111.

Call 999 or go to A&E now if:

you or someone you know needs immediate help you have seriously harmed yourself – for example, by taking a drug overdose

A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency.

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