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How to recognise and cope with stress

In the meantime, there are some things we can do to help recognise and cope with stress.

If you are feeling stressed, you may feel anxious, afraid, angry, aggressive, sad, irritable, frustrated, or depressed. Physically this may cause headaches, nausea, indigestion, digestive problems such as constipation or bloating, shallow breathing or hyperventilating, excessive sweating, aches and pains, or heart palpitations.

You may behave differently when feeling stressed. You risk withdrawing from your family or friends, being indecisive or inflexible, being tearful, having trouble sleeping, experiencing sexual problems, or taking up harmful behaviour more often, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs.

To help manage stress, it’s important to talk with people you trust. People with strong social networks cope better. If you don’t feel you can confide in someone you know, you can use a confidential helpline such as Breathing Space or Samaritans (see below).

Have a look at our blog on the cost-of-living crisis, which has things that you can try to help.

If stress is becoming overwhelming, try getting some professional help from your GP. If the financial strain is causing stress, some organisations may be able to offer practical help, such as StepChange or Turn 2 Us (see below).

Stress is a common experience, but that doesn’t mean we have to put up with it. Support is available to help manage stress before it becomes a problem.

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