Most people will experience some level of stress and often it can motivate and help us to achieve things in life.
"Stress is the body's reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. It's very common, can be motivating to help us achieve things in our daily life, and can help us meet the demands of home, work and family life."
When stress starts to impact us in negative ways, then maybe we need to look at ways to reduce our stress levels and focus on our coping strategies in order to manage our responses to stress.

How do we recognise when we're stressed?

The NHS outlines three things to focus on in order to recognise when stress is the reason we are feeling or acting differently:

Physical symptoms
  • headaches or dizziness
  • muscle tension or pain
  • stomach problems
  • chest pain or a faster heartbeat
  • sexual problems
Mental symptoms
  • difficulty concentrating
  • struggling to make decisions
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • constantly worrying
  • being forgetful
Changes in behaviour
  • being irritable and snappy
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • eating too much or too little
  • avoiding certain places or people
  • drinking or smoking more
For further information about stress see Every Mind Matters.


Anxiety is also a common feeling experienced by many of us.
"Anxiety is a feeling of unease, like a worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone feels anxious from time to time and it usually passes once the situation is over."
How do I know if I'm anxious?

We will all experience anxiety in different ways and to different levels of intensity. The NHS recommends to be aware of the following symptoms:

Physical symptoms:
  • faster, irregular or more noticeable heartbeat
  • feeling lightheaded and dizzy
  • headaches
  • chest pains
  • loss of appetite
  • sweating
  • breathlessness
  • feeling hot
  • shaking
Mental symptoms:
  • faster, irregular or more noticeable heartbeat
  • feeling lightheaded and dizzy
  • headaches
  • chest pains
  • loss of appetite
  • sweating
  • breathlessness
  • feeling hot
  • shaking
Changes in behaviour:
  • not being able to enjoy your leisure time
  • difficulty looking after yourself
  • struggling to form or maintain relationships
  • worried about trying new things
  • avoiding places and situations that create anxiety
  • compulsive behaviour, such as constantly checking things
Panic Attack

Intense feelings of anxiety and fear might be symptoms of a panic attack. 

Symptoms may include:
  • a racing heartbeat
  • feeling faint, dizzy or lightheaded
  • feeling that you're losing control
  • sweating, trembling or shaking
  • shortness of breath or breathing very quickly
  • a tingling in your fingers or lips
  • feeling sick (nausea)
A panic attack, although frightening, usually lasts 5 to 30 minutes and is not usually dangerous.

If you concerned about your physical or mental health, or someone else's, you can call the NHS helpline 111.

Low mood and depression

We all experience low mood at times. If it is something that is affecting your wellbeing ongoing, or returns frequently, it may be time to seek help.
"Everyone feels low or down from time to time. It does not always mean something is wrong. Feeling low is common after distressing events or major life changes, but sometimes periods of low mood happen for no obvious reason.

You may feel tired, lacking confidence, frustrated, angry and worried. But a low mood will often pass after a couple of days or weeks – and there are some easy things you can try and small, everyday changes you can make that will usually help improve your mood.

If you're still feeling down or no longer get pleasure from things for most of each day and this lasts for several weeks, you may be experiencing depression."
How do I know if I have depression?

The NHS highlights the following symptoms of general low mood:
  • sad
  • anxious or panicky
  • more tired than usual or being unable to sleep
  • angry or frustrated
  • low on confidence or self-esteem
A low mood often gets better after a few days or weeks.

Experiencing low mood that last for 2 weeks or more could be a sign of depression

Other symptoms of depression may include:
NHS depression anxiety self-assessment quiz
NHS - Every Mind Matters - Feeling Low?


Call 999 or go to A&E now if:

Your life or someone else's life is at risk
- for example you or they have seriously injured yourself or taken an overdose
You do not feel you can keep yourself or someone else safe
"A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical one. You will not be wasting anyone's time." NHS

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