Stress is our emotional and physical response to pressure. That pressure can arise from external factors including life events, illness, work, and study. 

Even those events which we see as enjoyable can be stressful, such as starting a better job, pregnancy, parenthood, holiday, and Christmas. 

Causes of stress 

There are many causes of stress and they include: 

  • Being under lots of pressure
  • Facing big changes like relocating
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Financial problems
  • Being too busy
  • Worrying about something
  • Not having much or any control over the outcome of a situation
  • Having responsibilities that you're finding overwhelming
  • Not having enough work, activities, or change in your life
  • Times of uncertainty.
  • Pregnancy and becoming a parent
  • Long term health problems
  • Grief and loss 
  • Job loss

Signs of stress

Stress can affect you both emotionally and physically, and it can affect the way you behave.  You might feel: 

  • Over-burdened
  • Anxious, nervous or afraid
  • Depressed 
  • Finding it hard to make decisions
  • Constantly worrying
  • Biting your nails
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol more than usual
  • Tired all the time
  • Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure


What can I do to manage my stress?

You can do the following to help you manage your stress:

  • Learn and read more about stress
  • Stay away from drugs and alcohol
  • Replace anxious thoughts with positive ones
  • Learn how to relax
  • Eat healthily and exercise
  • Talk to a trusted friend, adult, or family 
  • Seek help from a professional counselor 
  • Do something fun or nice for yourself
  • Spend time with people who make you feel safe and good about yourself
  • Get enough sleep 
  • Don’t blame yourself 
  • Identify your triggers and try avoiding them


If you're worried about your stress, it's important to seek help as soon as possible. 

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