What is stress
Most of us at some point say we are stressed but what does stress actually mean. Stress is a normal reaction and we need a certain amount of stress to function. We can think of stress as an umbrella term, often being made up of anxiety, low mood, sleep difficulties, low self-confidence, anger or panic. This blog will look at different ways of managing stress.
When stress becomes a problem
Everyone has stress just as everyone has blood pressure. It becomes a problem when:
- We feel stressed even when we try to relax
- There appears to be no reason for it
- It impacts on our functioning and everyday life
How to manage stress
Some of us manage stress well and some of us struggle, this is normal and we can help to improve are stress reactions by doing some simple but effective strategies. I personally believe in the power of physical activity. I enjoy a run most days and it sets me up for the day, clears my mind and kick starts the feel good endorphins. You don’t have to run though any physical activity is beneficial: cycle, swim, walk, box, weight lift, mow the lawn, dance whilst hovering, you get the idea.
Other proven techniques are relaxation skills such as progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness and meditation, talking to a friend, effective problem solving. Top tips to help: get a good night’s sleep, avoid too much caffeine and smoking before bed, limit caffeine during the day, drink plenty of water and ensure your sleeping environment is comfortable.
Learn more about stress and how to manage it by visiting the Hounslow IAPT website and sign up for the free 6-week course.
You can also get further tips on dealing with stress by using the ‘Mind Plan’ tool on the One You Hounslow Every Mind Matters page.