Stress – and how to bust it

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Feeling stressed is your brain’s way of letting you know you’re under pressure or overwhelmed. While a little stress can help you stay motivated and focused, it can be a problem if it lasts too long or is too intense. It can begin to affect your physical and mental health.

Stress can cause anxiety, depression or even post-traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms of stress can include:

  • Feeling irritable or angry
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling anxious, afraid or nervous
  • Constant worry / sense of dread
  • Racing thoughts / inability to switch off
  • Pounding heart or palpitations
  • Dry mouth, headaches, aches and pains
  • Lack of interest in daily activities
  • Loss of appetite

Stress-busting techniques – a few tips:

  • Plan some “me time” in your diary a few times a week
  • Get active – exercise and time outdoors are great for clearing your thoughts
  • Spend time with people who make you feel good
  • Focus on what you can control, not the things you can’t
  • Keeping a gratitude journal, writing down three things you are grateful for each day
  • Access support from health professionals
  • If you feel you can’t keep yourself safe or are at risk of self-harm or suicide, call Samaritans on 116 123. Or call 999 in an emergency (or 111 if you need urgent help)
Key sources and further reading

NHS: Stress

17 March, 2023