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National Stress Awareness Day

Discussion in 'Sevenoaks Chat' started by West Kent Mind, Nov 1, 2021. Replies: 0 | Views: 142

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    Address your stress

    1 November 2021 /

    Wednesday 3 November is National Stress Awareness Day.

    Stress looks different for all of us. It might be the pressure we feel when we have too much on our minds, and on our to do lists. It might be the physiological reaction we experience when the demands placed on us seem more than we’re able to cope with. Or it may be the way we feel when everything seems out of our control. Given the last 20 months, and the uncertainty of the coming months, it’s likely that all of us will have experienced some feelings of stress recently.

    Stress is a widely and often over-used term. Stress, to some degree, is good for us – it motivates us, helps us to achieve peak performance and can even help us to learn and experience new things. The stress response is designed to keep us safe – it begins in our brain, which senses danger – an oncoming car for example – and sends out distress signals. Our sympathetic nervous system engages and triggers our fight-or-flight response, getting our body ready to respond to the danger – real or perceived. Once the threat has passed, our parasympathetic nervous system should engage and dampen the stress response, returning our brain and body to ‘business as usual’.

    When this response is out of proportion to the threat, or when it doesn’t stop when the danger (or perceived danger) has passed, it becomes problematic. While stress in itself is not a diagnosable mental health condition, high levels of stress, as well as persistent low-level stress, can become toxic and lead to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, and have a long-term harmful impact on our physical health.

    Our ethos at West Kent Mind is one of early intervention and we work tirelessly to ensure we all have an awareness of our stress response and the protective factors we can put in to keep ourselves well. There are things we can all do to better manage our stress, irrespective of whether we have a diagnosable mental health condition or not.

    • Identify your triggers
    • Plan your time
    • Address the causes of stress
    • Accept the things you can’t change
    • Look out for signs of stress
    • Helpful coping strategies can help build our resilience. We all use them – often without realising it.

    Coping strategies look different for everyone, but our top tips are:
    o Talk to someone you trust
    o Spend time on hobbies and creative activities
    o Get outside when you can – in daylight
    o Take time to rest and relax, whatever that looks like for you

    To find out more about the impact of stress and how you can build your resilience, visit our Training and Workshops page.

    If you feel like stress is affecting your mental wellbeing, please get in touch, we are here here to support our community.

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