Coping with Stress

What causes stress?

The things that cause stress vary from person to person.

The level of stress you are comfortable with may be higher or lower than that of
others around you. Stressful feelings typically happen when we feel we do not have
the resources to manage the challenges we face.

Pressure at work, school or home, illness, or difficult or sudden life events can all
lead to stress.

Possible causes of stress include:

  • our genes, upbringing and experiences as children or adults
  • personal problems like relationship issues
  • life changes, like moving house, having a baby or bereavement
  • money worries, housing issues or job problems
  • health issues, either for you or someone close to you
  • pregnancy and parenting
  • loneliness or feeling unsupported

Find out more about life’s challenges that might cause stress and how to deal with

Tips on managing stress

Try these practical self-care tips, as they might make a big difference.

Try self-help techniques

Our short videos and practical guides to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you deal with stress by working through problems in new ways and building resilience. Try our self-help CBT techniques

Try positive thinking

Positive thinking can help with stress relief, so take time to think about the good things in your life. Each day, list 3 things you’re thankful for, however small.

Talk to someone

Trusted friends, family and colleagues, or contacting a helpline, can help us when we are struggling. Check out our video on social connection.                                                                                                                                      

Split up big tasks

You might feel less stressed if you can take practical steps, such as breaking a task down into easier, more manageable chunks. And give yourself credit when you finish a task.

Be more active

Being active regularly can help you to burn off nervous energy, so it could be a way for you to deal with stress. Exercise might also help you manage or reduce stress. Try our Better Health: Home workout videos.

Plan ahead

Planning ahead for upcoming stressful days or events – creating a to-do list, planning your journey and listing things you need to take – can really help to relieve stress.