How Stress Affects You in Mind

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Everyone gets stressed sometimes.

The good news is there's plenty we can do to stop stress building up and to feel better if we do get stressed.

What is stress?

Life is full of pressures and challenges.

When these get too much and start affecting us badly, this is what we call stress.

How does stress affect us?

Stress affects our bodies, our minds, our feelings and how we behave.

Common effects of stress include:

  • worrying lots
  • feeling tearful
  • aches and pains
  • feeling run down
  • eating lots more or lots less
  • feeling we can't be bothered
  • not sleeping properly
  • being short-tempered.

Some people also find they smoke or drink more or take drugs when stressed. Unfortunately, trying to cope with stress in these ways just makes things worse.

What if I keep being stressed out?

If stress goes on for a long time and we don't do something about it, it can make other problems worse.

We might start eating too much and exercising less. This can lead to health problems.

Some people smoke more or start using alcohol or drugs to 'cover up' stress. These things only make stress worse and cause problems of their own.

If we feel bad all the time, we can also get depressed or anxious.

What causes stress?

Lots of things! What's stressful to one person might not be stressful to another - take speaking in public for example.

Common sources of stress include:

  • exams
  • being bullied
  • being discriminated against through racism or sexism
  • big changes, like moving school or house
  • problems in our relationships
  • problems at home

Bad experiences in our past can cause us stress for a long time afterwards, like neglect or abuse.

What can we do about stress?

If we are stressed, things that can help include:

  • getting more physical activity
  • doing some relaxation exercises
  • writing about or talking about feelings
  • trying to tackle problems.

How can we stop stress building up?

Things that help when we are stressed (see above) can help stop stress building up too.

We can also:

  • make sure we get good sleep
  • try to eat well
  • learn to plan ahead
  • take time to have fun and relax every day.

Find more help and support from AyeMind's helpful resources and contacts.