Stress Awareness Month April 2022
Stress Awareness Month is held in April every year and has been for the last 20 years. Mentalhealth.org.uk defines stress as
Stress is our body’s response to pressure. Many different situations or life events can cause stress. It is often triggered when we experience something new, unexpected or that threatens our sense of self, or when we feel we have little control over a situation.
What makes us stressed?
Many things can make us stressed these things can be negative or positive. You might be struggling at work, going through relationship problems, a bereavement, illness or accident. You might also feel stressed when positive things are happening for instance moving to a new home, going on holiday, getting the promotion you wanted at work, all these things can feel difficult because they are new and something we haven’t experienced before.
What are the physical signs of stress?
Physical signs of stress can include:
- Stomach problems
- Tension in your muscles
- Your heart racing
- Headaches or dizziness
What are the mental signs of stress?
Mental signs of stress can include:
- Forgetting things
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Not being able to concentrate or make decisions
- Anxiety or fear
How can your behaviour change when you are stressed?
Behavioural signs of stress can include:
- Changes to your sleep pattern, sleeping too much or too little
- Isolating yourself
- Being irritable or snapping
- Seeing an increase in coping behaviours, for instance eating too much drinking too much or smoking more
- Conversely you may stop eating or eat very little.
- Sexual problems
What is the difference between stress and anxiety?
Stress is the body’s reaction to a threat, whereas anxiety is the body’s reaction to the stress. Stress is the initial reaction that our body goes through when it faces something. Stress often occurs for a short span of time, anxiety is ongoing and can persist long after the stressful situation has stopped.
How can you help yourself if you are stressed?
Below are 2 tips that you can try out to help yourself when your stressed.
- Recognise the signs of stress and consider what the cause of it is. Is it something that you can address, take time out even if its just a few minutes make a plan of how to address the stress. For instance, if you are starting a new job at work, consider how best you can go about this to reduce your stress, what do you need to put in place to make things easier.
- Look after yourself physically. When you are under stress it can be easy to stop eating properly, for instance drinking lots of coffee to keep going or picking up fast food because its quick and easy. All of this can have an adverse affect on how your feel and exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety. Make sure that you continue to eat well, keep hydrated, exercise and sleep enough.
Where can you get professional help?
If you would like to make an appointment with Paul for Counselling, Psychotherapy around feelings of stress, please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can. For more informaion about Paul please take a look at the About Paul Page, Frequently Asked Questions Page and The Counselling Services Page.
In Stress Awareness Month Stress.org.uk has some free online resources that you might find helpful including a free stress guide
Useful Blogs on our website