stressed woman

Stress is a major contributor to ill health with 74% of people in the UK saying they have felt so stressed they have felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.

This April is Stress Awareness Month and NHS organisations in Cheshire want anyone who is suffering from stress to seek help to reduce their stress levels and help improve people’s mental and physical health.

Dr Teresa Strefford, local GP and mental health clinical lead for NHS South Cheshire and NHS Vale Royal CCGs said: “People can experience stress for many different reasons such as work, family life or worrying about money.

“Stress can lead to a number of very serious health problems including high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia and depression.

“If you are feeling stressed, it is important that you find ways to manage it.

“This can be done by exercising more, improving your time management, taking a holiday, or even just finding a little time for yourself.”

Research into stress suggests that there are five steps that everyone can take to develop their emotional strength, de-stress and improve mental wellbeing.

These are:

Connect – invest time in developing your relationships with your family,
friends, colleagues and neighbours
Be active – take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life
Keep learning – developing new skills can give you a sense of achievement and build confidence. Why not sign up for a course or develop a new skill?
Give to others – volunteering for a good cause or helping a neighbour can improve your mood, boost emotional wellbeing and help you build new social networks
Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this ‘mindfulness’. It can change your feelings about life for the better and help you approach challenges positively.

For more information on how to tackle stress visit the NHS website.

You can also download the CCGs’ mental health app: Click here for the app store  – here for Google Play  – or visit https://www.selfhelpguides.ntw.nhs.uk/cheshirevale

You can also find other mental health apps and tools in the NHS apps library.

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