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What is stress?

It is natural for anyone to feel stressed when they are under pressure or in danger of being unable to cope with the demands put upon them. In fact, stress in small measures is good for you, helping you perform better.

When we’re stressed, our body releases adrenaline and cortisol, linked to the fight or flight instinct, helping protect you and stay focused. How we react to stress varies from person to person. What one person may deem to be a highly stressful experience may be where another thrives.

Problems arise when we are put under prolonged periods of stress and feel you are no longer able to cope with it. Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. It can be caused by our thoughts and anxieties (internal stressors) or by events and experiences (external stressors).

Whilst stress in itself is not a mental illness, prolonged stress can lead to mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression.

Download our stress management guide.

So am I stressed?

If you are stressed you may be experiencing some of these symptoms:

You may feel:

  • Irritable
  • Anxious
  • Low in self-esteem
  • Have a low mood

You may:

  • Worry constantly
  • Imagine the worst in each situation

You may notice you are:

  • Raising your temper quicker
  • Drinking more
  • Smoking more
  • Changing your eating habits
  • Feeling unsociable
  • Struggling to concentrate

You may be suffering from:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension and pain
  • Stomach problems
  • Sweating
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Bowel or bladder problems
  • Even breathlessness

If you feel stress is affecting you, our trained advisers can help you to talk it through and refer you to sources of support. To get in touch, please fill in our application form.

Give us a call...

For confidential support and advice call 0800 056 2424 Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm