Mind and mood

Reducing stress

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure and you may feel unable to cope. Support is available and there are things you can do to try to ease the pressure you’re feeling.

If you’re feeling stressed, you’re not alone. Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure, and pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope.

A bit of stress is normal and can help push you to do something new or difficult, but too much stress can take its toll.

Lots of things can cause stress, including work, relationships and money problems. Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works – from how well you sleep to your immune system. In the short-term that’s not really a bad thing, but long-term stress puts your health at risk.

Reducing your stress levels and feeling more in control boosts your mood and means you are more able to cope with life’s ups and downs. Getting stress under control can boost your immune system and help prevent serious problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. Stress can affect how you feel and how you react to people. Learning how to manage stress can help you build and maintain positive relationships with your family and those around you. Managing stress in a healthy way also helps teach your loved ones how to cope with stress in the future.

Talk

Talk

It’s true what they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. Talk to a family member or trusted friend about why you’re stressed. Getting it off your chest can be a really productive way to ease your troubles and help you see things in a different way. If you don’t feel like talking, just spending some time having fun with friends can do a lot of good. It can help you relax and take your mind off whatever is making you feel stressed. You can also speak to your GP if you are concerned about stress and anxiety.

Tips for dealing with stress

Relax

Breathe

It’s amazing what a difference a few minutes of breathing exercises can make to your stress levels. This calming breathing technique for stress, anxiety and panic only takes just a few minutes and can be done anywhere.

Know your triggers

Think about why you're stressed

Once you know what’s making you feel tense, anxious and uncomfortable then you can start to try and put things right. Taking control of the situation will help you feel calmer and more positive about the future.

Talk

Talk

It’s true what they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. Talk to a friend or family member about why you’re stressed. Getting it off your chest can be a really productive way to ease your troubles and help you see things in a different way. If you don’t feel like talking, just spending some time having fun with friends can do a lot of good. It can help you relax and take your mind off whatever is making you feel stressed.

Save money

Money worries

Many people find that their worries stem from concerns about money. You can get free advice on managing debt problems from Citizens Advice.

manage your time

Manage your time

If you never seem to have enough time, there are things you can do to regain control of your days. Whether it’s in your job or your lifestyle as a whole, learning how to manage your time effectively will help you feel more relaxed, focused and in control.

Prioritise

Prioritise

Prioritising the things you need to do (whether at home or at work) can help you take control of your ‘to do’ list. Finding ways to concentrate on the most important things first and accepting that the less important things may need to wait a little longer, can free you from the stress of trying to do too many things at once.

Be positive

Be positive

When you’re feeling stressed it’s easy to focus too much on the negative and forget the good things that happen. If something good happens, make a note of it, celebrate the little wins and focus on the positive. Thinking positive helps you to feel positive.

bath

Make time for you

Sometimes a busy life can mean that we neglect ourselves and don’t spend enough time doing things that we enjoy. This can lead to a build-up of stress that can be relieved by setting aside a couple of nights a week for some quality ‘me time’ away from work / family. Planning ahead helps you keep the time free and will also give you something to look forward to.

Reason to quit

Set yourself a goal

Setting yourself a goal like walking more, learning a new language or taking up a new activity can be a great stress reliever. If you don’t feel in control of your life at the moment, taking control of a new challenge can be really empowering.

Accept you cant change everything

Accept you can't change everything

There are some things in life you can’t change. Fighting against these things will only end up making you feel stressed and frustrated. Instead, try to focus on the parts of your life that you can control and make it your mission to make these things the best they can be. Accepting that you can’t change everything will help release you from a lot of unnecessary stress.

Help others

Help others

Evidence shows that people who help others often deal with stress better. This is because helping others with their problems can help you put your situation into perspective. Doing a good deed also lifts your mood, whether it’s something small like helping someone cross the road or volunteering / doing some community work.

Small steps to build into your day

Move more

Find a way of being active that you like. Almost any form of activity can act as a natural stress reliever. Being active releases feel-good hormones called endorphins into your blood stream, which can ease stress by helping you feel happier, more relaxed and sleep better. Going walking, jogging or running are famously good ways to clear your head and lift your mood.

Drink less

Some people turn to alcoholsmoking or caffeine when they are feeling low. Alcohol is a depressant, so although initially it may make you feel more energetic or cheerful, this feeling fades quickly; leaving you feeling down, tired and dehydrated.

Eat well

You may not realise just how big a role your diet plays on your mood. Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated can give you the strength and energy to cope more easily with everyday life. The benefits that come with a healthy balanced diet can help you feel good and get more out of life.

Stop smoking

Stopping smoking can actually reduce your stress levels. Smokers often experience more stress or heightened stress due to nicotine withdrawal between cigarettes. Removing cigarettes from your life also removes these smoking-related issues and helps give you more control over your mood.

Help is available...

You can find out more by visiting the following websites

Health watch liverpool

Healthwatch Liverpool

If you want to find out what help and support is available in your community contact Liverpool Healthwatch.

Age concern Liverpool logo

CHAT

If you’re interested in group work or alternative opportunities to address your stress contact the Community Health Ambassador Team (CHAT).

Livewire Liverpool

Health Trainers

For one to one support developing a health plan which addresses your stress contact the Health Trainer Service today.

Talk Liverpool logo

Talk Liverpool

If you wish to address the psychological, social and physical effects of longer term stress you can contact Talk Liverpool.

NHS logo

NHS

NHS offers a wealth of advice and support to help prevent and manage stress better.

Healthy homes liverpool logo

Healthy Homes

Healthy homes offers free help and advice to people in Liverpool who are struggling to pay their energy bills and heat their homes.

Liverpool City Council logo

Help from the council

Get advice from the council on social care, housing and homelessness issues and benefits managed by the council and its partners.

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Citizens Advice Liverpool

Liverpool Citizens advice offer advice about debt, housing, benefits and more.

Foodbanks

The Trussell Trust runs a network of over 400 foodbanks, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis across the UK.

Small changes feel good

See how small changes can help improve many areas of your life.