National Stress Awareness Day

There’s no doubt that stress affects all of us to a greater or lesser extent. 2nd November 2022 marks the National…

There’s no doubt that stress affects all of us to a greater or lesser extent. 2nd November 2022 marks the National Stress Awareness Day, so let’s take this time as an opportunity to reflect on stress – what it really is, what its symptoms are, and what we can do to manage it better? 

About National Stress Awareness Day

National Stress Awareness Day is run by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA), which is a registered charity dedicated to promoting the best stress management practices and supporting mental health and wellbeing. 

The Stress Awareness Day takes place every first Wednesday in November with the aim to increase public awareness about stress and help people reduce it in their everyday lives.

What is stress?

According to NHS, stress is the “body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure”. And whilst it is important to experience stress from time to time as it simply motivates us to keep going, excessive amount of stress can lead to serious negative effects such as physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. When we are stressed, our body releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which are detrimental to our organisms in the long run.

If stress becomes a consistent feeling in our life, it can turn into a chronic stress which is linked to many other conditions such as hypertension or heart diseases. Therefore, it is extremely important to learn how to deal with stress properly to reduce the risk of damaging our precious health.

Stress symptoms and signs

In today’s hectic world, there are many different causes of stress, and its symptoms vary as stress affects people differently. However, here are some of the most common signs of stress which are important to recognise:

  • Change in appetite
  • Trouble with sleeping
  • Struggling to focus
  • Low energy
  • Change in social behaviour

(Source: YaleMedicine)

How to deal with stress?

Whilst there’s no definite answer on how to overcome stress, there are a few things that could help you manage it better!

  • Spend more time in nature – I can’t stress enough how healing nature is; incorporating daily walks into your everyday routine will help you become calmer which in turn mitigates feeling stressed. 
  • Meditation – meditation can also help with reducing anxiety levels by allowing you to become more “present” in the moment. Whether you want to practice it in the mornings or evenings (or both!), even 5 minutes can make a difference!
  • Journal – writing your feelings down is a great way of dealing with intrusive thoughts we experience from time to time. Check out this article to learn more about benefits of having a gratitude journal!

As a supplement to this article, I highly recommend watching this video which reiterates what stress is and why it needs to be balanced to maintain a healthy lifestyle 😊

Please remember that if you’re struggling to manage stress on your own, seek professional help from doctors or psychologists. 

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