What is stress?

The term ‘stress’ has embedded itself into everyday life. It is often bandied about as a term to describe anything from feeling overworked to feeling totally exhausted. Stress is a very real condition, however, and it is important that we recognise the signs both in ourselves and in others so that we can take steps to combat stress and be healthy in both mind and body. 

Stress is a feeling of being under abnormal pressure. This pressure can come from different aspects of your day to day life. Examples of stress triggers include an increased workload, an argument you have with your family or financial worries. 

Stress affects us in a number of ways, both physically and emotionally and in varying intensities. 

The mental health charity, MIND, states that, under stress you may feel:

  • irritable, aggressive, impatient or wound up
  • over-burdened
  • anxious, nervous or afraid
  • like your thoughts are racing and you can’t switch off
  • unable to enjoy yourself

When feeling stress you may find the following:

  • you struggle to make decisions
  • you may feel constantly worried
  • find yourself becoming irritable, anxious or restless
  • may find yourself tearful
  • or be prone to addictive behaviours such as eating, drinking or smoking
  • or be prone to addictive behaviours such as eating, drinking or smoking

It is important to try to realise when it is that you feel most stresses or under abnormal pressure and therefore identify the causes so that you can take positive actions to change. Review your lifestyle to assess what you can change to release pressure on yourself. 

Here are some positive steps that you can take to help protect yourself from stress:

1. Eat healthily

2. Be aware of smoking and drinking alcohol

3. Exercise

4.Take time out

5. Be mindful

6. Try to get into a pattern of decent sleep

7. Don’t be too hard on yourself

8. Try oxygen as part of your daily lifestyle

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