Explains what stress is, what might cause it and how it can affect you. Includes information about ways you can help yourself and how to get support.
Taking steps to look after your wellbeing can help you deal with pressure, and reduce the impact that stress has on your life. This is sometimes called developing emotional resilience.
Resilience is not just your ability to bounce back, but also your capacity to adapt in the face of challenging circumstances, whilst maintaining a stable mental wellbeing. Resilience isn't a personality trait – it's something that we can all take steps to achieve.
For example, you can:
There are some general changes that you can make to your lifestyle that could help you feel more able to cope with pressure and stressful situations.
"When I'm stressed, I take myself away from everyone, into another room or somewhere quiet – even just for five minutes – and sing to myself. Not full on belting out a tune, but just quietly or even humming to myself, really calms me down."
Taking steps to look after your physical health can help you to look after your mental health and reduce feelings of stress.
Learning to be kinder to yourself in general can help you control the amount of pressure you feel in different situations, which can help you feel less stressed.
"I distract myself from my [...] worry by doing a puzzle or playing a game."
Remember that whatever you're going through that's causing you stress, you don't have to cope with it alone.
Sometimes just telling the people close to you how you're feeling can make a big difference – and they might be able to help you out in other ways too.
This may be from your line manager, human resources (HR) department, union representatives or employee assistance schemes, for example.
Try not to worry that talking to your manager or colleagues about stress will be seen as a sign of weakness. Your wellbeing is important and responsible employers will take it seriously.
If you're worried that the culture in your workplace might not be very supportive, you might find it helpful to take a look at our page on work and stress. The Health and Safety Executive has information on work-related stress that may also help.
For example, this could be from your tutors, student union or student services. See our pages on how to cope with student life for more tips on accessing support as a student.
Sometimes sharing your experiences with people who've been through something similar can help you feel less alone. Mind's community Side by Side, and the online community Togetherall, offer supportive spaces where you can talk openly about stress and your mental health.
For guidance on using these services safely, see our pages on staying safe online.
If you feel like you need some professional support, you can speak to your doctor. They can check your overall health, and help you access support and treatments. They could also recommend that you take some time off work, university or college, and sign a medical note for you.
You might find your local Mind branch runs a course to help you look after your wellbeing, build resilience or manage stress. Or they may offer another service that could help you. Find your local Mind here.
"[It helps me to] hug, fuss and play with my kittens!"
This information was published in November 2017.
This page is currently under review. All content was accurate when published.
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