What is it?The word stress is usually used to describe the feelings that people experience when the demands made on them are greater than their ability to cope. At such times people can often feel overloaded, under tremendous pressure and very tense or emotional. Stress affects everyone, young and old and is a completely normal reaction that all human beings will experience from time to time when faced with situations that they feel under pressure in. Stress can be looked at in terms of external and internal stressors. External stressors are sources of stress that we are aware of around us, these can include traumas, life experiences or simply daily hassles. Internal stressors are the sources of stress that are inside us and are often the most common sources of stress. They are the thoughts and feelings that pop into your head and cause you to feel unease, these can include unrealistic expectations, uncertainties, low self esteem and apprehensions.
DIY self diagnosis
If you can answer YES to 5 or more of these symptoms then you may be experiencing stress.
- Obesity and Over-eating
- Increased or excessive drinking of alcohol
- Loss of appetite
- If you smoke – you’ll smoke more
- Increased coffee consumption
- Excessive and continuing irritability with other people
- Substance Abuse
- You can’t make decisions, large or small.
- Unable to concentrate – (common symptom of stress)
- Increased and suppressed anger
- Not be able to cope with life, feeling out of control
- Jump from one job to another without finishing things
- Excessive emotion & crying at small irritations
- Lack of interest in anything other than work
- Permanently tired even after sleep – (another very common symptom of stress)
- Decreased sex drive / libido
- Stress can cause Nail biting
Anxiety UK strongly advises that people seek further information and guidance from their GP who will be able to make a formal diagnosis.
How we can help
- One year’s free subscription to Headspace (worth approx. £60), more details
- Access to reduced cost therapy
- Access to specialist email and helpline support
- Subscription to Anxious Times magazine (worth £12 annually)
- Access to our Member’s area and free online resources
- Free copy of Understanding Anxiety booklet (worth £3.99)
Stress fact sheet
This guide aims to provide you with a greater understanding of anxiety. and is written by Anxiety UK’s CEO, Nicky Lidbetter.
Overcoming Stress is a self-help guide that helps you recognise what happens when you are under stress and how to change how you think, feel and act to manage it more effectively. You can buy a copy from the Anxiety UK online shop here.
Breathe is a DVD that offers a series of simple breathing exercises to promote health, vitality and well-being. You can buy your copy from the Anxiety UK online shop here.