The Wardley Wellbeing Hub is the central area for the ACTNow campaign.
Understanding stress and recognising your own personal warning signs
What is stress?
Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. We all need a certain amount of pressure to function well, as pressure helps people to reach their peak efficiency. Research shows that pressure can increase our drive to meet deadlines and achieve targets. However, when pressure becomes too intense and prolonged, this can lead to more serious symptoms and problems such as anxiety, depression, headaches, weight gain/loss, sleep disturbance, sweating, abdominal pain, chest pain and panic attacks.
Stress can have a profound effect on someone’s thoughts, feelings and behaviour. It can cause them to feel anxious, out of control and unable to cope. This can lead to feeling irritable or constantly worrying about situations and can even affect a person’s self-esteem. Acute stress might come from any area of life, including work, home, relationships, illness or finances.
Causes of stress
There are a wide range of causes of stress and they will differ from one person to another – what may cause stress for one person may be taken in their stride by another person.
However, common causes of stress are bereavement, getting married, divorce, debt, ill-health, moving house, preparing for and sitting exams, changing jobs and problems at work.
Pressure of work is a common cause of stress, perhaps worsened by staff shortages or absences, along with problematic relationships with work colleagues or a manager, restructures, other major changes and/or worries about losing one’s job. People are often reluctant to ask for help for fear of demonstrating weakness or appearing to be unable to cope.