Tel: 0113 843 4388
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Monday, 8:00am - 6:00pm
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Wednesday, 8:00am - 4:00pm
Thursday, 8:00am - 6:00pm
Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm
Please note we are closed on Bank Holidays.
Burmantofts Health Centre, Cromwell Mount Leeds, LS9 7TA
LMWS Blog: Stress Awareness Month 2022
Whether it’s family problems, pressure at work or simply not having enough time for yourself, we all experience stress at one point or another. However, if we don’t have the tools to cope, stress can lead to serious issues for our mental and physical health.
For Stress Awareness Month 2022, LMWS Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, Tilly Hall explores the different facets of stress and the best ways to manage it.
What is stress?
‘Stress is a natural human response to pressure or threat,’ Tilly says. ‘This is the primal fight or flight response that prepares our body to escape danger.’
However, though we rarely have to physically fight or flee situations in contemporary life, this response can still be triggered. ‘A call from our boss, an upcoming event, or a worry about the future – these put our bodies and minds through the same physical changes.’
‘It’s really important to learn what stress looks like for each of us individually,’ Tilly advises. ‘You may notice physical symptoms like headaches, knots in the stomach, increased heart rate or changes in energy levels. People may spend more time overthinking situations or worrying, and this can lead to strong negative emotions like frustration or depression.’
How does stress affect my health?
‘Stress is a completely normal human reaction and, in small doses, is actually healthy,’ Tilly says. ‘But if we are consistently stressed over long periods of time, the stress response becomes far more frequent and harder to deal with.’
If left unchecked, stress can have a significant impact on our mental health. ‘Over time, worrying becomes second nature and people find it more and more difficult to break the habit,’ Tilly explains. ‘Stress can also make us feel low and negative about ourselves, and this starts affecting lots of areas of our lives.’
Stress can also take its toll on our bodies. ‘Many experience sleep problems, panic attacks and/or digestive issues,’ Tilly says. ‘And the physical impact only worsens over time.’
How can we manage stress?
‘It’s important to remember that stress is very normal,’ says Tilly. ‘So, try and be kind to yourself! We all feel stressed sometimes and there are lots of different ways to control it before it overwhelms us.’
Tilly advises taking a step back and seeing what stress feels like for you. ‘What do you notice? What changes about what you do or think? If you can understand what is feeding your stress, you’ll have a better idea of how to reverse it.’
There are also a wide range of resources people can use to better understand and manage their stress. ‘LMWS offers Omnitherapy, online videos and resources that you can access as and when you need them,’ says Tilly. ‘The Mindwell website also provides a variety of information to help you look after yourself during difficult periods.’
Classes and workshops
LMWS currently offers free online classes where you can learn and practice proven CBT techniques to manage your stress. You can try a one-off Managing Stress workshop or sign up for our 6-week Stress Control course which is available in the day time or evening. We also offer a course specifically designed for young people.
‘You can sign up for either directly, or speak to an LMWS practitioner,’ says Tilly. ‘Refer Yourself online or call 0113 843 4388 to discuss what support may suit you best.’