What is stress?

Stress is a common term that we all come across in our daily lives. It can be defined as a state of emotional or mental tension resulting from demanding circumstances. Stress can be caused by various factors such as work pressure, financial problems, family issues, and health concerns. In this article, we will explore the causes and effects of stress and also provide some tips on how to manage stress effectively.

Causes of stress

Stress can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  1. Work Pressure: Work-related stress is one of the most common types of stress. It can be caused by long working hours, tight deadlines, difficult colleagues or bosses, and job insecurity.
  2. Financial Problems: Financial stress is another common type of stress. It can be caused by debt, unemployment, unexpected expenses, and other financial problems.
  3. Family Issues: Family problems such as divorce, conflict, and caregiving responsibilities can be a significant source of stress.
  4. Health Concerns: Health-related stress can be caused by chronic illness, pain, and disability.
Effects of stress

Stress can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. Some of the most common effects of are:

  1. Anxiety and Depression: Stress can lead to anxiety and depression, which can significantly impact our mental health.
  2. Heart Disease: Chronic stress can increase the risk of heart disease.
  3. Digestive Problems: Stress can cause digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, stomach ulcers, and acid reflux.
  4. Insomnia: Stress can also lead to insomnia, which can significantly impact our quality of life.
Symptoms of stress

Stress can manifest in a variety of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Some of the more common symptoms can include:

  1. Physical Symptoms:
    • Headaches
    • Muscle tension or pain
    • Fatigue or exhaustion
    • Sleep problems
    • Digestive problems (e.g. upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation)
    • Changes in appetite (eating too much or too little)
    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
    • Sweating or trembling
  1. Emotional Symptoms:
    • Anxiety or worry
    • Irritability or anger
    • Feeling overwhelmed or helpless
    • Sadness or depression
    • Feeling moody or easily agitated
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Racing thoughts or constant worry
  1. Behavioral Symptoms:
    • Procrastination or avoidance
    • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
    • Social withdrawal or isolation
    • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
    • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
    • Overreacting to small problems or conflicts
    • Difficulty making decisions


It’s important to note that everyone experiences stress differently and the symptoms can vary from person to person. 

Managing stress

Managing stress is essential for our mental and physical well-being. Here are some tips on how to manage stress effectively:

  1. Exercise: Regular exercise can help reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Read more…
  2. Meditation: Meditation or mindfulness can help calm the mind and reduce stress levels. Read more…
  3. Time Management: Effective time management can help reduce work-related stress by allowing us to prioritize tasks and manage our workload more effectively. Read more…
  4. Social Support: Spending time with friends and family can help reduce stress levels and provide emotional support. 
  5. Self-Care: Practicing self-care, such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and taking time for hobbies and relaxation, can also help reduce stress levels.

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms and they are interfering with your daily life, you might like to consider chatting with one of our trained mentors here at Trauma Research UK. Find out more here…