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We live in a busy, fast-paced world and stress is becoming more common as people try to cram more and more into their daily lives. However, too much stress, and prolonged stress, can cause health problems and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

What is Stress?

Stress is part of the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response to real or imagined threats and is a way of dealing with an emergency. We can therefore say that stress is a defence mechanism that kicks into gear in response to a threat. There are many signs of stress on the mind and body and this stress response is actually a healthy way of protecting the body to give it an extra boost of adrenalin. It also helps concentration and ensures a person can rise to a challenge.

Stress Symptoms

There are a number of signs that indicate someone is dealing with high levels of stress — from physical to mental symptoms of stress. Although symptoms vary among people suffering from stress, too much stress can cause:

Chronic stress is where an individual is constantly on edge. They find it difficult to relax and are permanently in a state of heightened alertness. This is not a healthy way to be and untreated chronic stress can lead to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Gastrointestinal disorders (IBS, ulcers etc)
  • Skin disorders
  • Weak immune system

Dealing with Stress

It is vital that steps are taken to relieve high levels of stress and anxiety. Some of the following stress management strategies can help:

If symptoms of stress persist, it is necessary to seek medical help.

Downloadable Stress Resources

Stress Lesson Plans

[Lesson Plan thumbnail] Exam Stress

Exam Stress

This lesson plan provides information and advice on dealing with exam stress.

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