Stress is usually felt when these demands outweigh the resources we have to cope with such demands, creating an imbalance. Stress can have an effect on how we think, feel and act. Some stress can be beneficial in motivating us to approach and deal with a challenge. However, it can also become harmful and distressing if experienced for a prolonged period of time.
Actions that can help
- Exercise: when we experience stress our bodies prepare for action. If we engage in exercise (for instance, a brisk 15-minute walk per day) we can help manage the increase in stress hormones and their effect on our physiology.
- Eat regularly: many people report forgetting or missing meals when under stress. This can increase the amount of adrenaline released in our bodies, making us feel more stressed. You can read more about eating and stress here.
- Learn to recognise the signs: everyone reacts differently to stress. Perhaps you can start by noticing what your typical warning-signs are (for instance, increased heart rate, loss of appetite) and use these as an indicator that it is time to take a break, step back and seek some support.
- Take a few minutes to yourself: You can engage in some mindful activities, take a walk or do something that relaxes you for a few minutes.
- Take some deep breaths: a common physiological response to stress is rapid and shallow breathing. By using deep breathing techniques you can slow your breathing down and feel better.