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STRESS AWARENESS MONTH APRIL 2022…

STRESS AWARENESS MONTH – 1st – 30th April – Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 to raise awareness of the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.  The last two years have been the most challenging they have faced and in 2020 their services will be overwhelmed by people that are struggling and seeking support.   This year their theme is Community.  They have chosen this theme because lack of support can cause loneliness and isolation, which in turn lowers people’s well-being, impacts mental health, and can lead to mental illness. Social isolation is an important risk factor for both deteriorating mental health and suicide. As we emerge from the pandemic, it’s vital that the community support experienced by many people during this challenging time continues.  Although restrictions have been lifted, people need support now more than ever as they adjust to a new way of living.

The pandemic has had a hugely detrimental effect on the nation’s mental health and sense of community.  Disrupted social lives, the cancellation of large gatherings, travel restrictions and working from home have kept us in one place for prolonged periods of time. However, one of the positives to emerge from this unparalleled situation has been the community spirit and support shown by so many to so many.

Socialising with others has multiple benefits for our mental health.  Whether it’s a sport, hobby classes or volunteering, activities like these all give meaning, and purpose to our lives, and make us more confident.  Having the opportunity to laugh and chat with others in social situations serves to temporarily distract us from our worries by turning our focus outwards instead of inwards.  And being able to talk through problems and share our worries with others decreases our stress levels.  As the saying goes, a worry shared is a worry halved, and less worry equals less stress. 

Stress writes that volunteering may be especially good for reducing stress because, much like socialising, it turns our focus outwards.  Moreover, helping others with their problems can help us gain a more positive perspective on our own difficulties.  Plus, there are the associated benefits of working together with other like-minded people to achieve a worthwhile goal.  These factors all weigh heavily on the positive side of the mental health spectrum, and so increase our mental well-being while uniting us in a shared sense of purpose.

The 30 Day Challenge

If you haven’t yet joined the Stress 30 Day Challenge for April then pick one action each for your Physical, Mental and Emotional Well-being to carry out every day.

It takes 30 days to turn actions into habits, which is why this is a month-long programme.  The 30-day challenge will maximise your chances of turning useful knowledge and techniques into positive behavioural change.

Click below to gain the access to the free resources specifically created for the month of April. You can download the 30 Day Challenge, a Daily De-Stressing Planner, a Stress Guide, 7 Steps Achievement Plan, useful infographics on stress and much more!

Stress Management Society 30 Day Challenge

Source: Stress awareness

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NATIONAL STRESS AWARENESS DAY WEDNESDAY 6th NOVEMBER…

The first Wednesday in November each year is National Stress Awareness Day

A flagship annual event. This event is great as a means of raising awareness of the organisation, achieving publicity for stress, and promoting the importance of wellbeing for individuals and organisations. It is also a day to make sure those who are stressed know to seek advice and the right help.

We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – 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.

National Stress Awareness Day is a great chance to take a moment to think about our wellbeing and find advice or support on managing stress.

Sharing how you’re feeling with friends and colleagues can make a huge difference. By sharing you could get some great advice and tips or find you can support other colleagues who need help.

The National Stress Awareness Day website has lots to help people with stress. From ways to overcome your fears and phobias with spiritual help, how health issues can contribute to stress, how hypnotherapy can help with depression and hypnosis for anxiety and much more.

Many people with commitment phobia have problems with committing to relationships. Quite often, the people who view their website, and who go on to contact them, are not the commitment phobic person themselves, but their frustrated partners.

It’s important to know when you’re stressed so you can step in before it affects your mental health. Common signs of stress could include: difficulty concentrating, interrupted sleep, breathlessness, irritability, or low energy.  

Mind are asking employers to start the conversation about stress in their workplace. By creating a Stress Awareness Space, staff can share their thoughts and feelings when they’re feeling stressed.

Anything you can do to raise awareness of stress especially during this pandemic could help just one person overcome it.  A fundraising coffee morning is one example of a great way to break the ice.

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IS STRESS CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR PAIN ?…

We all suffer from a little stress on a regular basis but if your stress is constant then this can contribute to your pain. Constant stress has been proven to lead to heart attacks and depression, and also disrupted sleep.

We constantly judge ourselves over how our life is, mistakes we my have made or what other people think of us. But negative thoughts can play havoc on our health.

If you can identify what you can’t control, which can be a number of things for people in chronic pain, and think instead on how you can deal with your problem, this will bring your stress down a notch.

It’s hard to admit to yourself that there are some things that you can no longer do but if you can find someone to help you with it then you will feel much less stressed out.

If it’s a situation that you feel you have no influence over, make a decision about whether you will adapt to it in the best way you can, ask someone else to do it for you or leave it alone.

Practising some simple breath awareness with some yoga poses, or meditation, can help to relieve pain. Everyday Health say eliminating stress relieves pain. Stress and pain can each impact the other, creating a vicious cycle that sets the stage for chronic pain and chronic stress.

Patients need to manage their stress to be in the best psychological state to benefit from other therapies,” says Carmen Green, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology and director of pain medicine research at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.”

Constant chronic pain can affect your quality of life, but learning how to cope with stress and can help you manage the pain and lessen it’s impact.

A few great books to help you deal with stress are The Stress Solution, 4 steps to a calmer, happier, healthier you, by Rangan Chatterjee. This book offers simple and achievable interventions to help you re-set your life, offering simple tools for how to cope with modern life.

The Art of Relaxation and Stress Relief – Butterflies – Colouring Book for Adults, by Eva Alcantara . Colouring books are now considered a great way to unwind and take your mind off your pain and stress.

Yoga Nidra for Complete Relaxation and Stress Relief by Julie Lusk. This book is packed with meditation, relaxation skills and visualisation techniques to help you cope with stress.