What is stress?

We experience stress when we feel threatened or under pressure. Stress affects both the mind and body. We can detect stress by looking for some of the following symptoms:

  • Faster heartbeat and breathing rate
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increase in mental alertness
  • Decreased saliva production
  • Sweating
  • Becoming easily agitated and overwhelmed 
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach, including diarrhoea, constipation, and nausea
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of sexual desire 
  • Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
  • Constant worrying
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Exhibiting more nervous behaviours, such as nail-biting, fidgeting, and pacing

It's a very common emotion but some are better than others at coping with it.

Why do we get stressed?

Stress is often triggered when we experience something new, unexpected or when we feel we don’t have control over a situation. It could also be offset by something that we believe attacks our beliefs, morals or sense of self. 

What can you do to help yourself?

Due to the adrenaline that is often produced when we’re stressed, we have little time to make a conscious decision. This is why it’s best to prepare an action plan and take continuous care of your overall health. Here are some of the things you can do…

Eat well

Eat a healthy balanced diet - when we eat good, we feel good!  In fact, Up to 90% of your body’s serotonin (a mood stabiliser) is produced by your gut microbiome. Fermented foods, like miso soup, are an excellent way to keep your gut microbiome healthy.

Sleep well

Making sure you get around 7-9 hours will help you to function effectively, be productive, think rationally and avoid irritability.

Learn to relax

It’s important to do the things that make you feel calm. For some, it’s yoga, meditation, deep breathing or stretching. For others, it could be watching their favourite series, white noise, or stroking their pet.

The key thing is to find out what works for you. Then in moments of stress, you have a go-to.

Move more

Regular exercise can help to reduce stress hormones in the body in exchange for mood stabilisers and feelings of happiness! In moments of stress and just generally throughout your day - make sure you fit in some exercise.

Use your support system

As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Voicing your stresses takes the tension away from your mind and allows others to listen and/or give you advice.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone, we’d recommend writing down the things that are stressing you out. If you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed and need the support of a human being, call the Samaritans on 116 123,

You won’t be able to remove stress from your life completely, but you can certainly make it more manageable.

Get in touch

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Alternatively, if you would like to speak to someone about any of our services, or would like assistance taking the assessment online please contact us on 0300 303 9988 or email provide.essexwellbeing@nhs.net to talk to one of our friendly team members.

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