We know what it is like to feel stressed and being under pressure is a normal part of life. But becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse. The 2nd November 2023 is Stress Awareness Day and we have highlighted below, the ways that stress can affect people and what you can do to manage your stress before it becomes a problem.

Stress can be a real killer, both in the workplace and in the busy, day-to-day life of each person. When humans are faced with a challenge, or a threat to their well-being, the body experiences stress. By design, this was a good thing to notify and equip the brain to sense and respond to danger. Now, in modern times, stress responses come on even when people aren’t necessarily in imminent danger or risking their lives.

Whether dealing with a job that puts you under tremendous pressure or facing struggles in life or relationships that leave you in a state of constant worry, stress can be a real killer. In 2022, it was estimated that the number of workers in Britain suffering a work-related illness was 1.8 million. This included those with stress, depression, and anxiety.

National Stress Awareness Day is an ideal opportunity to start looking after yourself and your life and break down the individual stressors in your life. Failure to deal with stress in your life effectively can lead to serious health problems, including increased blood pressure, susceptibility to heart disease, and a decline in the immune system.

Once a person starts experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, they can entangle each other, resulting in growing sickness and, by extension, more stress. It’s truly a self-feeding problem and a cycle that is necessary to control to enjoy our lives. And the first step to getting out of the cycle is becoming aware of it in the first place.

Your GP should be consulted if medical problems are involved, but for those who are simply looking for ways to reduce stress might want to try some of these activities:

  • Deep Breathing Exercises – Many times, the mind simply needs a timeout to get recentred
    and calm down. Deep breathing is a great way to regain focus and get reenergised, even for
    just a couple of minutes in the middle of a workday.
  • Regular Exercise – One excellent way to keep stress at bay is to keep the body moving.
    Running, walking, bicycling, or movement activities like yoga can all be incorporated into an
    anti-stress lifestyle.
  • Reduce Caffeine – A healthier diet can be a huge stressbuster, and caffeine can be a
    significant culprit for creating anxiety. Limit the caffeine to one small serving a day to gain a
    noticeable difference in the amount of stress put on the body and the adrenal system.
  • Journal or Talk About Feelings – One way to cope with stress is to tell a friend or therapist
    about difficult things in life. Don’t have one? No worries! Journaling can sometimes be just
    as therapeutic as a listening ear.
    Perhaps the best way to celebrate National Stress Awareness Day is to take the opportunity to
    remove the stress from your life, at least for the day. Take the time to examine the various aspects
    of life and find out where all the stressors lie. Then try to start looking into taking steps to remove
    them or find ways to mitigate them so they don’t have as much power.

Whatever you choose to do, take a day off and let yourself have a day of freedom.