We all have days where we feel the pressure, from internal and external stressors and facing difficult situations. High workload, juggling care responsibilities, struggling finances, worries about the future and not enough hours in the day can all add to the stress.
According to the Mental Health Foundation at some point over the last year, 74% of us have felt so stressed that we have felt unable to cope.
How does stress affect you?
The effects of stress on your body are worrying. It disrupts nearly every system in your body.
- Immune system: Stress can suppress your immune system so you’re more susceptible to illness, usually at a time that you’re busy and illness really gets in the way.
- Digestive system: Stress can severely upset your digestive system.
- Reproductive system: Prolonged or chronic stress can cause the body to get confused and lead to irregularities in hormone production.
- Risk of heart attack and stroke: Stress can cause the heart to work harder thus increasing blood pressure and in turn increasing the risk of heart attack or strokes .
- Speed up the ageing process: Stress doesn’t just make a person feel older, it can actually speed up the ageing process.
How to cope with stress
Just being aware of stress can help to manage and reduce your stress levels. Maintaining a positive outlook is key to controlling stress. If you feel good about yourself and stay positive this can help you to lead a healthy and stress-free life.
Having things to look forward to, whether that’s a holiday, a weekend away or seeing friends and family or just being around loved ones can help keep you happy and keep stress at bay. Exercise is a proven stress buster for people of all ages, whether it’s a visit to the gym, a swim in the pool, a brisk walk or a long bike ride. It’s important to know that there is help out there if you feel you can’t manage it yourself. Speak to family or friends, your GP or explore online resources such as https://www.stress.org.uk/
Fighting stress is worth the effort to live a longer, healthier, more fulfilling life.