By Sam Blaney in support of National Stress Awareness Day
If life’s stresses have left you feeling debilitated in the past year, you’re not alone.
In 2018, an online poll by YouGov – the largest known study of stress levels in the UK – found that 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.
Wednesday 6 November is National Stress Awareness Day 2019, with the aim of the campaign to encourage people to talk about this serious and escalating problem.
Though in our fast-paced, ever-connected world, some level of stress is to be expected and actually is becoming almost the norm, an overload of stress can have devastating psychological and physical affects on your body.
The YouGov study revealed that 51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, while 61% reported feeling anxious. Of the people who said they had felt stress at some point in their lives, 16% had self-harmed and 32% said they’d had suicidal thoughts and feelings.
In addition to mental trauma, stress that’s left unchecked can also contribute to many physical health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and unexplained pain in the body.
Although we can’t always remove ourselves from the external stress factors we face, it is possible to work on our reactions to them. Crucially, we can also look at cutting down on the internal stress we inadvertently place on ourselves.