We know what it is like to feel stressed and being under pressure is a normal part of life. But becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse. On Stress Awareness Day we will be highlighting the ways that stress can affect people and what you can do to manage your stress before it becomes a problem.

Millions around the UK experience stress and it is damaging to our health and wellbeing. For example, at some point in the last year, 74% of us have felt so stressed that we have felt unable to cope (Mental Health Foundation).

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. When you are stressed, your body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.

Stress is your body’s reaction to help you deal with pressure or threats. This is sometimes called a "fight or flight" response. Your stress hormone levels usually return to normal once the pressure or threat has passed.

A small amount of stress can be useful. It can motivate you to take action and get tasks completed. It can also make you feel alive and excited. But too much stress can cause negative effects such as a change in your mood, your body and relationship issues.

Visit our advice and information pages about stress to learn more.

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