Stress & Anxiety
What is Stress?
Stress is very real - it's your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. It is very common and can motivate you to achieve daily targets, however, if you recognize you are suffering from stress, you are not alone. Around one in four GP consultations are about mental health concerns, many of which involve feelings of stress.
It can be described as one of the body's reactions to feeling threatened or under pressure and can be useful. People sometimes say, 'it makes me pay attention to something or I turn it into an action plan that helps me to better prepare'. However, too much stress can affect our mood, our body and our relationships – especially when it feels out of our control, it makes us feel anxious, irritable, and affects our self-esteem.
Stress can make you feel you’re in danger—whether it’s real or imagined—your body’s defences will often kick into high gear in an instant, it’s an automatic process known as the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ reaction, your 'stress response’. Stress and worry form the central part of depression and anxiety; left untreated over long periods of time can cause you serious physical and mental health problems.
Below are some examples of serious illnesses that can develop as a result of on-going stress:
- Heart disease
- high blood pressure
- low resistance to infection
- sleep problems
- stomach problems, especially ulcers.
These are all more likely in people who have been experiencing on-going stress. It is therefore really important to learn how stress affects you.
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