Stress is a feeling that can occur when someone is under a lot of pressure, which they’re unable to cope with. There are many symptoms related to stress. These symptoms can be emotional, physical, psychological or behavioural.

Stress can be caused by a single event or a build-up of pressure or even several smaller stressful incidents. A little stress can often be good for you, as it can prepare and motivate you for action. But prolonged stress can be damaging to your health and wellbeing because some can’t cope with the pressure. Any kind of mental pressure can cause stress and can come from a variety of causes. Some people can feel embarrassed to ask for help, or think that they can deal with it on their own. If you find that stress is affecting your everyday life, one of the most important things you can do is to speak to someone about it. It can help you recognise what is causing you to feel like this and help you to deal it.

Your GP can provide you with advice and various treatments to help you with your stress. They may suggest that you try some self-help techniques such as exercise, or they may recommend other types of treatments such as talking therapies. The type of treatment may depend on different situations such as the type of stress, your symptoms, and whether you have been diagnosed with any other conditions.

CLICK HERE to take a stress test and learn how stressed you are and what you can do to help yourself. Relaxation techniques are a great way to combat feelings of stress and to help you feel in control.

Relaxation can really help improve a person’s wellbeing. Relaxation calms anxiety and helps your body recover from everyday rush and stress. Although relaxation alone won’t make anxiety and stresses disappear, it can make you more positive and become more able to deal with the situation. It will help you release the tension in your body and clear your thoughts.

There are a variety of techniques you can use (see resource list), but all generally combine breathing more deeply and relaxing the muscles. Don’t worry if you find it difficult to relax at first, it’s a skill that needs to be learned but will come with practice.