There are many reasons why you might begin to feel particularly stressed, from an increased workload at work, tension at home, financial worries and more. When you feel like you are under excessive pressure, your body can create a stress response which will manifest itself in different ways, including physical and emotional symptoms.

Being able to recognise when you are stressed and learning to take action to reduce and manage your stress is really important for your long-term health. Here, Wellbeing365 take a look at identifying stress, how to reduce it and why it’s important.

How to identify the signs of stress

Stress can affect your health and wellbeing, so it’s key that you’re able to recognise some of the common signs and symptoms. By doing this, you can take the necessary steps to reduce your stress by trying to resolve the situation you find yourself in.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or worried, it’s likely there is something in your routine that is causing stress. You might experience mood swings, a short temper or difficulty concentrating. In some cases, it’s also difficult to relax.

How to protect yourself from stress

It can sometimes feel easy to turn to the likes of alcohol, smoking or even drugs to try and help you cope with stress, but this is one of the worst things you can do. Instead, there are a number of things you can try to help prevent feelings of stress in the first place.

Try to eat healthily and exercise regularly, as both can help you to feel good about yourself physically and mentally. Exercise may help to clear your mind, while a healthy diet will keep up your immune system and energy levels.

Keeping things in perspective is also very important, so take some time out every now and again to put yourself first. This could be anything from getting an early night, going out for dinner with your family or simply just taking some time away from your computer or phone.

Is stress ever a good thing?

In some cases, stress can make you feel more alert and help you to perform better. However, this is only beneficial if it’s short-lived, such as preparing for a big meeting. Prolonged stress can lead to a number of problems with your immunity, digestive system and mental health. Eventually, you could be a bigger risk of a heart attack or stroke.

For this reason, it’s important that you’re able to recognise when stress is causing you a problem, and that you take the necessary steps to review your lifestyle. Stress can sometimes be the trigger you need to make a change, as it shows that you may have taken on too much at once.

Another important thing to remember is that you should try to only focus on the things you can control. Stress can often leave you feeling out of control and helpless, but by finding something you can resolve, it can make you feel more positive and confident about your situation.

Balancing your time

One of the best things you can do to manage stress is to learn how to balance your time well. In particular, achieving a better work-life balance is important in making sure you feel fulfilled and not too overwhelmed. When you’re with family and friends, try to be as in-the-moment as you can, and pay attention to the thoughts and feelings of those around you.

It’s also key to manage your time well during work hours, and be as productive as you can during the day so you can enjoy your evenings and weekends appropriately.