Stress is the single biggest cause of sickness in the UK and affects 1 in 5 of the working population.
Stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that the demands upon them exceed their personal and social resources. It can be brought on by the mental or emotional pressures whether this is due to work, relationships, finances or family life.
Stress-related situations can arise on a day-to-day basis and they can be difficult to avoid, however, you can manage your level of stress by acting upon both your mind and body.
Stress can have a detrimental impact on your mind, body and behaviour. Mentally you may feel depressed, irritable and lack interest in others. Physically, the effects of stress on your body may include experiencing headaches, having difficulty in sleeping, high blood pressure, or your breathing may become shallow or fast. This can then have an impact on your behaviour where you may find it difficult to make decisions, avoid difficult situations or lack the ability to show your true feelings.
Because stress can cause such widespread damage, it’s important to learn how to recognise when your stress levels are out of control. Although this differs from person to person, some people are able to cope with anything whilst others struggle at the slightest obstacle.
So how much stress is too much? There are a number of symptoms which can suggest you are under stress, the more of these symptoms your experience, the more stressed you are.
View our infographic to learn about the symptoms of stress and identify whether you are experiencing too much stress and what effect this could be having on your mind, body and behaviour.
The best way to deal with stress is to seek support from those you trust the most. Have confidence in yourself and persevere through challenges and set time aside to relax e.g. exercise or listen to some music to help you unwind.
Read our guide on understanding stress for more information and advice on how to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress in yourself and others. Try our online Beating Stress Interactive tool which will provide you with an action plan to help you overcome and prevent stress.