How To Deal With Stress

Updated: May 4




Do you ever feel overwhelmed with what is going on in your life and feel you just cannot cope? Sometimes life becomes so demanding and changes can take you out of your comfort zone which leads to feelings of stress. This is actually how your body responds to pressure mentally, emotionally or physically and is triggered by different situations or events in life. Stress is part of day-to-day life and in small amounts can help you to process and deal with what is going on around you. It can sometimes motivate you to get things done and keep you alert. However, when the stress becomes overwhelming and you feel you are unable to cope, warning bells should be ringing. In a heightened state of stress, it may affect your focus, your ability to function, your health or cause changes in moods which can affect relationships, work, and all areas of life. In my latest blog, I look at the definition of stress, the signs you are experiencing it and what you can do about it.


What is stress?


“Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure.”


Mental Health Foundation


“Stress is how we react when we feel under pressure or threatened. It usually happens when we are in a situation that we don't feel we can manage or control.”


Mind


“Stress is the body's reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. It's very common, can be motivating to help us achieve things in our daily life, and can help us meet the demands of home, work and family life.”


National Health Service



Signs of stress


• You have feelings of irritability, anger, impatience or generally feel wound up

• Your thoughts are continually racing and you cannot switch off

• You feel anxious, nervous and afraid with a sense of dread

• You are unable to enjoy yourself and feel uninterested in life

• You have lost your sense of humour

• You feel worried, tense and even neglected and lonely

• You feel over-burdened or overwhelmed


As well as emotional symptoms, you might even experience physical symptoms including aches and pains, chest pains, exhaustion and have trouble sleeping. Stress can also be accompanied by headaches, dizziness and shaking with the possibility of high blood pressure and stomach or digestive problems.


Ways to manage and overcome stress


• Regular emotional wellbeing sessions

• Meditation, deep breathing exercises and stretching

• Take care of yourself by eating healthily, getting plenty of sleep and exercising

• Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories

• Avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs

• Plan time to unwind and do hobbies, activities and sports that you enjoy

• Talk to family and friends

Seek professional help

Managing stress will help release the feelings and reduce the impact that stress may be having on your life.



Stress Awareness Month


April is Stress Awareness Month and it has been held during this month since 1992 in order to raise awareness of the causes and cures for the modern stress epidemic. Over the last two years many people have struggled and needed support through these most challenging times. Every year there is a theme and in 2022 it is ‘Community’.


“We have chosen this theme because lack of support can cause loneliness and isolation, which in turn lowers people’s wellbeing, impacts mental health and can lead to mental illness. Social isolation is an important risk factor for both deteriorating mental health and suicide. As we emerge from the pandemic, it’s vital that the community support experienced by many people during this challenging time continues. Although restrictions have mainly been lifted, people need support now more than ever as they adjust to a new way of living.”


Stress Awareness Month


Stress can be both useful and harmful


It’s true that a small amount of stress can be positive. It can help you to be alert and deal with certain situations better, but this is only the case when it’s short term. Stress in its useful form is when it helps us to remain focused, keeps our energy levels up and makes us alert. It can help us to complete a task or to get multiple things done. In a low form, it can help us cope with the day-to-day challenges of life. Stress can also be a protector and can provide us with the ability to protect ourselves where we otherwise may not have felt able to. In a harmful context, stress can be debilitating and can affect focus, mood, energy levels and it can make easy things seem so much more difficult. It can cause anxiety, irritability and even anger and can also cause physical conditions such as headaches and high blood pressure. Long term stress, when it takes over and becomes too overwhelming can have a very negative impact on your mental, emotional and physical health. It can become habitual and you can end up locked in a cycle of stress feeling overwhelmed on a regular basis.


How can Becoming Aware help you deal with stress?


If you are feeling overwhelmed and feel you are struggling to cope, please do get in touch. As a Mental & Emotional Wellbeing specialist, I can help you to cope with stress and work with you so that you learn how to deal with it. Call me on 07766 427966 for a free without obligation chat or email karen@becomingaware.co.uk
















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