Explore stress by scrolling through the page or simply select an option from the drop down if you wish to jump to the relevant section of the page:
What is stress?
Everyone experiences stress; it is a normal response to situations that we find threatening, different or when we are in a situation in which we feel we have little control over. We all feel stress differently.
The physical changes that take place when we feel stressed are our body’s way of protecting us from what we are finding stressful. Sometimes our physical response to stress can be helpful and can motivate us to deal with things in our daily life, such as deliver a speech or take an exam. Our stress levels usually go back to normal very quickly after the stressful event is over.
Low levels of stress can be helpful or motivational. However, too much stress can negatively affect our mood, our body and our relationships. Too much stress can leave us feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope. And if we are experiencing too much stress over a long period of time it can affect our physical and mental health.
Common causes of stress include
Sudden changes to routine
Problems with housing including moving
Having a baby
Symptoms of stress
Feeling tired or fidgety or both at the same time
Racing heart, sense that it is banging in our chest
Feeling like you need to go to the bathroom
Overeating or avoiding food
Poor concentration or racing thoughts, unable to “switch off”
Increase in drinking alcohol and/or smoking
Self-help advice to manage stress
If stress is affecting your life in a negative way there are things you try to help yourself.
Talk to someone: a family member or a friend.
Think about the things that cause you stress, and if and how you could change/manage these. Try one of our free self-help courses or resources to help you find ways to manage your stress.
Challenge your thinking. Try to understand why you are feeling stressed and challenge those thoughts. To learn skills on how to challenge your thinking try one of the courses below. Think about the positive things in your life, each day try to consider 3 things that have gone well.
Practice self-care – see our section on looking after yourself. Many people find that being active is great for helping to manage stress.
However, if feel you need help with dealing with your stress, support is available – visit our section on Helplines for more information.
If you need further help managing stress
If the information, advice, resources and courses on this page have not been helpful and/or you think you need more help, there are many free support services available.
If you live in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, and are aged over 18, you can make an appointment with a Psychological Health Practitioner (PHP) or GP by contacting your local GP surgery. PHPs are NHS mental health practitioners who provide a free service for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems.
If you are under 18 or worried about someone aged under 18 and need urgent advice/self-referral to local mental health and wellbeing services in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, contact SPACE-Wellbeing.
Or alternatively contact another approved helpline. Some services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Last updated: 16.12.2022
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Childline – for children and young people under 19
Childline is here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. You can talk about anything. Whether it’s something big or small, our trained counsellors are here to support you.
Get help and advice about a wide range of issues, call us, talk to a counsellor online, send Childline an email or post on the message boards.
Call on 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone bill.
Meic is the helpline service for children and young people up to the age of 25 in Wales. From finding out what’s going on in your local area to help dealing with a tricky situation, Meic will listen even when no-one else will. We won’t judge you and will help by giving you information, useful advice and the support you need to make a change.
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