Health & wellbeing

5 things you didn’t know about stress

You’ve probably suffered with it before, but how much do you know about stress, how to prevent it and why we feel it?
1. There are emotional and physical symptoms


When you’re stressed, you probably feel irritable, anxious or overwhelmed. But there’s a huge range of signs that indicate you might be stressed, such as feeling impatient, afraid, or uninterested in life; you might also find yourself restless or worried; and you could experience tiredness, headaches or even nausea. If you struggle with your symptoms, or feel particularly depressed, see your GP for advice.

2. It's normal to feel stress even when you're happy


Big events, like weddings, births or moving house are generally happy occasions but, because they require a lot of planning and prep work, they can be stressful. The important thing to remember is that it’s totally normal to feel this way! There’s no point pressuring yourself to feel differently, as you might end up feeling worse. Instead, identify what you’re most worried about, and talk it out with friends and family or ask for help when you need it.

3. You're not alone


It’s easy to feel like you’re struggling through solo, but research shows that 12 million adults in the UK see their GP every year about mental health problems, most of which are related to stress-induced anxiety and depression. The good news is, you’re already on the road to improving your stress levels, as eating healthily and moving more are both proven ways to relieve stress.

4. A little stress can be good for you


Some research shows that a moderate level of stress can help us be more alert, perform better and feel exhilaration. Situations where you might feel this kind of ‘positive’ stress include intense sports or adventure experiences, like rock climbing or bungee jumping. But remember that, if you’re feeling stress regularly or for long periods, it can lead to exhaustion, so it’s a good idea to check in with your GP.


5. Being kind to yourself could help


You’ve got plenty of reasons to give yourself a pat on the back – from fitting into your favourite jeans to acing a new workout or cooking a healthy meal. Celebrating your achievements – big or small – will help remind you of what you’re capable of, even when life gets stressful. In fact, why not share them on Connect - our exclusive member-only social community? You’re sure to find members who are in the same boat, who would love to celebrate with you (or give you a boost if you need it). Focusing on these positives is a good way to rise above any pressures you might feel.