StressDrive - Do You Feel Under Pressure?

Do we really understand stress, what it looks and feels like? Or how we cope with stress and what it does to our bodies?

Often stress is hidden and comes on slowly. Things happen – perhaps go wrong – and this builds up and as each item is added we start to struggle to deal with them. People handle stress and anxiety differently. Some people get nervous over the slightest thing whilst others seem to be able to cope with huge amounts of pressure and load. In fact some see stress and pressure a bit like feeling powerful like a bodybuilder: I am strong and can cope with this. Often this is totally wrong as the long term effects can creep up on us. 

In this Drive we show you the signs of stress, how to deal with it and control it, how to feel calmer and how to get help and support.

Stress Facts

Results of the Mental Health Foundation’s 2018 study

The study was an online poll undertaken by YouGov, and had a sample size of 4,619 respondents. This is the largest known study of stress levels in the UK.

1 %

of people have felt so
stressed they have been  overwhelmed or unable to cope in the last year

1 %

of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious.

1 %

of older people reported never feeling overwhelmed or
unable to cope in the past year, compared to 7% of young adults.

1 %

of all adults who reported stress in the previous year cited either their own or a friend/relative’s long-term health condition as a factor.

Stress has an impact on most aspects of physical, financial and mental health

What does stress look like?

Symptoms of stress

Stress can affect how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically, and also how you behave.

How you may feel emotionally

• overwhelmed
• irritable and “wound up”
• anxious or fearful
• lacking in self-esteem

How you may feel mentally

• racing thoughts
• constant worrying
• difficulty concentrating
• difficulty making decisions

How you may feel physically

• headaches
• muscle tension or pain
• dizziness
• sleep problems
• feeling tired all the time
• eating too much or too little

Check out the NFS Moodzone

There’s more info on the NHS moodzone area on help dealing with different types of stress – you can take the self assessment quiz if you’re over 16 – it will give you better understanding of how you feel.  You can also see the NHS Moodzone area click the link above for more information.

What causes stress?

Big life changes often create stress, even happy events like having a baby or planning a wedding.

Feeling like you aren’t in control of events in your life – for example, if you’re diagnosed with a serious illness or you get made redundant – can also cause stress.

Stress may be related to:
• work – for example, unemployment, a high workload, bullying or retirement 
• family – for example, divorce, relationship difficulties or being a carer
• housing – for example, moving house or problems with neighbours
• personal issues – for example, coping with a serious illness, bereavement or financial problems

stress depression anxiety infographic
What does stress do to your body?

Stress and its impact on your body

This YouTube video describes what stress does to your body

“If the mind can cause stress, the mind can alleviate it. It’s within our power to choose one thought over another — to choose optimism over pessimism.”
ernest cadorin
Ernest Cadorin

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See what other things can help

More Information is an organisation specialising in mental health issues and their site is easy to use and help is available

Anxiety UK specialise in managing anxiety and have help on hand with specialists online.

Forthwith Life did research on stress in the UK; this covers stress around the UK, and shows causes of stress, who is most stressed and what people do about it. Go to this research here.

A step forward for individuals would be to attend a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy course [CBT] you can get a recommendation from your GP or you can apply directly. CBT is according to attendees a good course to help you try to understand your stress and anxiety and how to deal with them.

Psycom explain the difference between stress and anxiety

The British Heart Foundation explain the impact of stress on your heart

WebMD have tips for reducing stress

EverydayHealth have some points on how to reduce stress with diet

Health and Safety Executive published a report in 2018 – download this here.

The British Heart Foundation published a leaflet on coping with stress – download it here

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