Stress: An overview

According to a survey by the Stress Management Society, 65% of the people they surveyed said they felt more stressed since the COVID restrictions began a year ago. And even though those restrictions are starting to ease, worry about mixing with others or returning to the office will undoubtedly be raising the stress levels in some of us.

Stress is a significant factor in mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. The key to reducing stress is thinking about and identifying what is causing you stress, then taking positive stress to address those causes.

We all experience and react to stress in different ways. Here are some examples of how stress can affect how we:


  • Memory problems
  • Poor judgment
  • Lack of concentration
  • Indecision
  • Self-doubt

Feel emotionally

  • Depression
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability
  • Cynicism
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling overwhelmed

Feel physically

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Frequent colds
  • Skin complaints
  • Indigestion
  • High blood pressure


  • Drinking more alcohol, smoking more
  • Isolating from others
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Loss of sense of humour

Adopt a positive mindset


When we focus on negatives, rather than concentrating on the positives, we heighten the stress by adopting a negative mindset. So, if we can change the way that we perceive things, we can often lessen our stress levels. Read more about how to develop a positive attitude and eliminate negative thinking.

Don't be a slave to tech


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Get a good nights sleep


Whether you’ve had sleeping problems before COVID-19 or if they’ve only come on recently, there are concrete steps that you can take to improve your sleep. Take a look at our Sleeping better page.

Get Moving


Get up, get moving, enjoy a hobby – activity boosts mood. Our Be active page is jam-packed with ideas and suggestions to get you and your family moving and releasing those happy hormones!

Practice deep breathing


If you’re feeling your stress levels rising, listen to this three-minute breathing space from the Mental Health Foundation. It’s a simple way to calm your mind and body down.

You can also work through a five-minute exercise with Kerry from our team, using your breath and your focus to connect with your senses.

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