How Stressed are You? Find out NOW!

It seems as though these days everyone is suffering from some form of stress. Be it pressures from work, family problems or general lifestyle stresses, more and more of us are struggling to cope. So it seems completely understandable that there is now a day dedicated to raising the awareness of this modern day condition.

National Stress Awareness Day 2014 is on Wednesday 5th November and before you ask, yes there probably are greeting cards available for this somewhere! In it’s 16th year, National Stress Awareness Day is being held to help celebrate those people that have beaten stress.

Work, relationships and money are high on the list of things that cause us stress.With reports from the Health and Safety Executive that almost half a million people suffered from workplace-related stress, depression or anxiety within the last financial year it is clear that we need to do something about it.

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure leading to feelings of being unable to cope. It will affect each individual differently and because people have different ways of dealing with stress, something that feels stressful to one person may indeed be motivating to another.

You may feel anxious, irritable, or have feelings of low self esteem. This can lead to a feeling of wandering around in a bubble where you become self absorbed with racing thoughts and constant worry.  You may notice that you lose your temper more easily, drink more or act unreasonably. When you feel stressed, it becomes even more difficult to sort out the demands of day to day life as it can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works.


Common signs of stress include sleep problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. You may also experience headaches, muscle tension/pain, or dizziness.

Stress is caused after you experience a surge of hormones in your body. These stress hormones are released to enable you to deal with pressures or threats, which is known as the “fight or flight” response. When the pressure or threat passes, the levels of stress hormone will usually level out. However, if a person is under constant stress, these hormones remain in the body, which consequently leads to the symptoms of stress.

Although stress is not considered an illness in itself, it can cause serious illness if it isn’t dealt with, for example high blood pressure. There are many different coping methods that can help reduce stress and improve mood.  It is a case of finding the one that works best for you and fits in with your lifestyle. For example, taking regular exercise, adopting good time management techniques, breathing and meditation exercises and learning how to relax. Studies have also found that mindfulness courses, where participants are taught simple meditations across a series of weeks, can also help to reduce stress and improve mood.

For more information about how to deal with stress visit International Stress Management Association (ISMA).