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.  

Stress might affect how you feel physically, mentally and how you behave, it’s not always easy to recognise when stress is the reason you’re feeling or acting differently.

Physical symptoms

  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Stomach problems
  • Chest pain or a faster heartbeat
  • Sexual problems

Mental symptoms

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Struggling to make decisions
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Constantly worrying
  • Being forgetful

Changes in behaviour

  • 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

Causes of stress

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.

Identifying the cause:

If you know what’s causing your stress it might be easier to find ways to manage it. Examples of causes can be:

  • Family – relationship difficulties or caring for someone
  • Health – illness, injury or losing someone (bereavement)
  • Financial problems – unexpected bills or borrowing money
  • Work – feeling pressure at work, unemployment or retirement

Even significant life events such as buying or moving house, having a baby or planning a wedding could lead to feelings of stress.

You might find it hard to explain to people why you feel this way, but talking to someone could help you find a solution.

You can find more information on the NHS Website

Information from the NHS website is licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

The mental health charity Mind offers more information on:

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