We all experience stress. But for some of us the impact of stress can take its toll on our overall wellbeing, including our mental health. A recent study has indicated that 74% of people in the UK felt ‘overwhelmed or unable to cope’ in the past year.
Stress can have many triggers - an increased work load, a period of change or transition, challenges in personal and work relationships, financial worries. It can be caused a single factor, or by a cumulation of many things, and it can lead one to feel threatened, overwhelmed, and like you can’t cope. Stress can manifest in physical and psychological symptoms, and if left to grow can become significantly problematic to both your mental and physical wellbeing. It’s really important to recognise the signs of stress, and to identify when - for YOU - it is all becoming too much.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR?
Signs of stress can include:
▪ feelings of constant worry or anxiety
▪ feelings of being overwhelmed
▪ difficulty concentrating
▪ mood swings or changes in your mood
▪ difficulty relaxing
▪ low self-esteem
THE POWER OF NOW
For me, the the most useful tool in combatting stress has been a ‘mindful’ attitude. I don’t consider myself to be a practitioner of meditation, but I try to adopt a mindfulness attitude of nowness, in which I focus my attention on what will be best for me in the present moment. Often, the thing that will help me most in the moment, is to give myself a break!
The UK Mental Health Foundation recommends seven steps that can help to combat stress, and taking timeout, being mindful and not being too hard on yourself are on that list! You can read what they have to say here.
Written by Helen Broughton, Baz facilitator and Therapist
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