What is stress?
Find out more about stress and why you might feel this way...
Symptoms of Stress
Everyone experiences stress differently; take a look at the image above and see if you can relate to any of the examples. Understanding how we experience stress is the first step towards being able to manage it more easily.
Scroll down to learn more about stress and how it can affect us.
Do I have something wrong with me?
Find out how others manage their stress and how you can help yourself.
Do I need help with my stress?
Although stress itself isn’t a mental health condition, it can cause health difficulties if we feel unable to manage it.
A small amount of stress can be helpful; it can give us the kick we need to get things done! Too much, however, can leave us feeling really tired, sad or overwhelmed.
Take a look at the zones below and consider which level of stress you’re currently feeling.
You are not alone...
It all started when I had some exams coming up at school. I began having trouble sleeping and then I would get really nervous in the morning before school. It was all I could think about but I couldn’t even concentrate on my work because of how restless I felt. It started to affect other parts of my life too, like my relationships with my friends. I didn’t want to go out with them because I couldn’t focus on anything else. Eventually, I told my dad which took a big weight off my shoulders. He helped me realise that the thing I was stressed about was just one part of my life. He encouraged me to take some time out to relax away from revision and that really helped manage the stress. We also looked at how we could create a routine for revision, so that it felt more manageable. This helped me feel more in control and more able to relax outside of revision time.
- Eddie, 15
How can I manage my stress?
We have put together a few useful resources on how to help with stress.
Step 1. Know your triggers
If you’re not sure what is causing you to feel stressed, try to keep a log and note down events and feelings. Try to answer the following questions and then rate your stress from 0-10.
- How did you feel?
- Where were you?
- Who were you with?
- What did you do?
Step 2. Take a break and breathe!
If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, try to take a short break from what you are doing. Try and get some fresh air or go somewhere quiet. Focus on your breathing or distract yourself with a podcast or by messaging a friend. Sometimes getting out of the situation can help you to feel calmer.
Step 3. Speak to Others
Asking for help from others can really make a difference to how stressed you feel. Sometimes just talking about how you feel can help. If you are worried about talking to friends, look for someone else you trust either at home or school.
Step 4. Keep It Real
Often when you feel stressed it can feel like everything is going wrong and that you don’t have any control. At times like this it’s easy to jump to worst case scenarios for everything. For example, “I have to finish this work or everyone will be really angry.”
Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and check whether these thoughts are true. It can be really helpful to talk this through with another person so that they can help you think about whether the worst case scenario is likely to happen.