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 - Managing your Stress

Managing your Stress

Written by WWTW Clinical Lead, Carolyn Brown.

What is stress?

Stress can be defined as a situation that can cause physical, emotional, or psychological strain and the way our body responds to the tensions it causes.  It is very often confused with anxiety. 

Stress is normal and is experienced by everyone at some point and can be likened to a state of readiness – the fight or flight response. If it is not addressed and goes on to become prolonged and chronic, it can trigger various mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, poor sleep.

It is not possible to identify just how much stress is unhealthy as we are all different and cope with what life throws at us in different ways and our capacity to manage stress varies.  What some people may find stressful, another person may find they thrive on it.

Events that cause stress include, relationship difficulties, work issues, losses including becoming unemployed, illness, the demands of exams, family events etc.  These triggers are known as stressors and can change depending upon what is going on for you at any given time. 

Managing your stress

Learning to deal with your own stressors, can help you to manage them.  Recognise your major sources of stress, understand how stress affects you, anticipate and plan for periods of stress and find your optimal level – what can you cope with?

  • Developing emotional resilience can help you to cope with the pressures that cause stress.  Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have.  It involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed, it is the ability to bounce back from adversity. 
  • Try to prioritise tasks at work or at home. 
  • Notice your thoughts and notice how you are feeling.  If you need help, ask for it, it’s ok to do this. 
  • Taking time out for yourself, exercising and eating a balanced diet will put life into perspective

Find even more helpful resources here