Stress Awareness Month

- Sunday, April 10, 2016

This April marks Stress Awareness Month. Stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that "demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilise". Some stress can be good for us, it acts as a motivator and can encourage us to finish a task we have been putting off. It also stimulates our 'fight or flight' response which can protect us from danger. However too much stress can have a negative effect on our mental and physical health.

How does stress affect us?

The Stress Management Society explains the effects of stress as similar to when a bridge is carrying too much weight; eventually, it is going to break. 

Stress can have many negative impacts on cognitive, physical, emotional and behavioural aspects of our lives. Although everyone endures stressful days from time-to-time, prolonged stress of over five days in a row undoubtedly makes people ill. 

Stress is a proven contributor to many conditions:

  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension and High Blood Pressure
  • Strokes
  • IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • Ulcers
  • Miscarriage
  • Alopecia
  • Premature Tooth Loss

If you want to learn more about the physical and mental impacts of stress, check out Ted-Ed's video How Stress Effects Your Body.

How can we deal with stress?

Feelings of stress can be triggered by many things. Anything from personal illness, bereavement, losing your job, debt, exams, divorce and even organising a family holiday can cause stress. 

Whatever the cause, our top tips for dealing with stress are here to help:

1. Indulge in physical activity

2. Get more sleep

3. Try relaxation techniques

4. Talk to someone

What if it's not enough?

Prolonged stress can be lessened with self-help techniques such as more sleep and exercise, however sometimes this is not enough. The team at Options are here for you when relaxation techniques or talking to a friend is not enough. Options' fully-trained and professional counsellors are on-hand to discuss your stresses, however big or small they may seem. 

If you are suffering with stress, don't hesitate to contact us today through our TwitterFacebook or via the contact form on our website.

The Options Team.

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