Stress can show up in different ways for everyone, so it's important to recognise signs or feelings to overcome them.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your to-do list seems endless, deadlines are fast approaching and you find yourself saying ‘Eek! I feel stressed!’? But what is stress really, and how does it affect us?

On National Stress Awareness Day (2 November) the we will be highlighting the ways that stress can affect people and what staff can do to reduce these feelings.

Recognising the signs of stress

Stress affects different people in different ways. Below is a list of some of the common signs. Some of these things will not apply to you. You may have other signs of stress that we have not listed.


Support for stress
  • Identify the sources of stress in your life: While it’s easy to identify major stressors such as changing jobs, moving, or going through a divorce, pinpointing the sources of chronic stress can be more complicated. It’s all too easy to overlook how your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors contribute to your everyday stress levels.

  • Practice the 4 A’s of stress management: When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, it’s helpful to think of the four A’s: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.

  • Get moving: When you’re stressed, the last thing you probably feel like doing is getting up and exercising. But physical activity is a huge stress reliever - Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day. The first step is to get yourself up and moving. Visit our physical health page to help you get started.

  • Manage your time better: Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused.

    • Don’t over commit yourself - avoid scheduling things back-to-back or trying to fit too much into one day

    • Prioritise tasks - make a list of tasks you have to do, and tackle them in order of importance

    • Break projects into small steps - focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once

    • Delegate responsibility - You don’t have to do it all yourself, If other people can take care of the task, why not let them? 

Self assessment tools

If you often experience feelings of stress, you might want to complete our self-assessment questionnaires to find out more about your symptoms.

Self-help resources

An NHS self-help guide

In this self-help guidebook it provides information on: What stress is, the signs of stress, causes of stress, how we can manage stress in our body, how we can manage our stressful thoughts, how we can manage our stressed behaviour, what to do if stress is work related. 

Coping with stress support

Visit the our self-help resource page on coping with stress to learn more.  

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