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HEALTH MATTERS: Spotting the signs of stress

NHS Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group is joining other CCGs across the UK in spreading the word about stress during Stress Awareness Month this April.

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure and, coupled with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, it is the reason for one in five visits to GPs.

NHS Lincolnshire CCG is urging people feeling stressed to take control of their emotions and is recommending 10 simple stress busters:

Don't let stress eat you up.
Don't let stress eat you up.
  • Be active – exercise helps you deal with problems more calmly;
  • Take control – it’s crucial to find a solution that satisfies you and not someone else;
  • Connect with people – a problem shared is a problem halved;
  • Have some ‘me time’ – set aside a couple of nights a week to finish work at a reasonable hour and do something you enjoy (the UK works the longest hours in Europe);
  • Challenge yourself – do something new, such as learning a language or a new sport;
  • Avoid unhealthy habits – don’t rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as ways of coping;
  • Do volunteer work – helping people who are worse off than you will put your problems in perspective;
  • Work smarter, not harder – concentrate on the tasks that will make a real difference to your work;
  • Be positive – be glass half full instead of glass half empty;
  • Accept the things you can’t change – and concentrate on everything you have control over.

The most crucial thing you can do when you are stressed or anxious is to make sure you are continuing to look after yourself. Make time to relax when you need to and learn to say no to requests that are too much for you.

Spotting the early signs of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and stop you adopting unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking or smoking.

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