Wednesday the 2nd of November is Stress Awareness Day. Everyday people across the UK experience some form of stress, whether it be due to family life, work or any other possible cause. As such, stress can often be different for everyone and how it impacts their life or mental health. That is why it is important for us to come together and raise awareness to what exactly stress is, and the ways that we can alleviate its impact on our mental health!
So first things first, what exactly is stress?
Stress is how we react when put under pressure or threatened, so this would normally be for a situation that we can manage or control. Some examples of this could be the following:
- A heavier workload than normal. You may have been given more tasks that you are worried you will not be able to complete by the set deadline.
- Money concerns. At the moment we are all experiencing the Cost of Living Crisis and the impact that has on our lives and mental health. As such, it is completely fair to feel stressed regarding this situation.
- Your family could be experiencing tough times.
In small doses stress may not impact your mental health to a negative amount and instead may push you to get what you need to do. However, when experiencing a considerable amount of stress for a continuous period of time, that stress in some cases has been known to begin impacting both physical and mental health. It is important again to note that everyone can experience stress in different ways, so for example the amount of stress it takes to begin affecting one person could very well be different to another person.
It is also important to keep in mind that whilst stress may have many connections towards mental health, it is not directly seen as a mental health problem. Primarily it is seen as something that can cause mental health problems and also be caused by them. For example, you may find it stressful trying to cope with what you are experiencing.
Like we said earlier, stress isn’t always necessarily a bad thing and can often be good, and help us to become motivated. However, that does not mean we should not try to manage it to avoid it becoming problematic down the down line. This can be done through using protective measures that could potentially help avoid experiencing mental health problems down the line.
- It is important to identify your triggers. This means finding out and remaining aware what exactly may cause you to experience stress, or things that could make it harder for yourself to cope.
- Address the causes of stress and accept what cannot be changed. Sometimes, it can be helpful to look at the things that are causing you stress and try to calmly find a way around them to find a solution. You can even do this by talking out the causes with another person. However, not every situation will have a solution and that is not always a bad thing. It’ll just mean having to find a way to alleviate the stress from that because that works for you. By accepting it can’t be changed, it’ll help remove some of that stress of you trying to work out how to change it.
- Looking for the signs of stress that you may be experiencing. For example, struggling to focus on the things you enjoy, being snappier/irritable, feeling down.
- Having helpful coping strategies in place. This could be anything from having an outlet to talk through your stresses, listening to music, doing a hobby. Just anything that you find helps yourself!
If you do find that stress is beginning to have an impact on your mental health, there is no shame in asking for help. We at Burton and District Mind are here for you. All you will need to do is reach out to us, and we can go from there. You can find out more information about us, and the services we have available here -> https://www.burtonmind.co.uk/
Today, let's spread awareness for stress.