Mental Health Awareness: All Things Stress

Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and with two thirds of us now experiencing a mental health problem at some point in our lifetimes it seems as though we should all be sitting up and paying attention.

This year the theme is stress. Finding ways to prevent or improve stress in our lives can go a long way in tackling a variety of mental health issues.

So what is stress?

Stress is a feeling of abnormal pressure. This can come from many different aspects of your day to day life. You may develop physical symptoms, notice a change in your behaviour or even find yourself experiencing intense emotions.

What kind of situations can cause stress?

A huge range of things can cause stress and it is different for everyone. Here are some of the common causes:

Personal issues

Employment and study

Family and friends


Financial worries

How can I deal with stress?

There is no one size fits all when it comes to tackling stress as each individual is different but the below strategies can go a long way in helping to ease the pressure.

Identifying your triggers

Figuring out what causes you stress can help you to anticipate problems and solve them before they become an issue.

Organise your time

Carefully organising your time both at work and personally can provide a feeling of being more in control, less overwhelmed and therefore able to handle situations better.

Accept the things you can’t change

Potentially the one that many of us struggle with, but accepting that there are some things out with your control can help you focus your energy elsewhere and stop unnecessary worrying.

Relaxation techniques

Learning how to relax is vital and one that is different for everyone so find what works for you. Some suggestions are to take a soak in the tub, read a book, try meditating or go for a walk.


Being sociable is sometimes the last thing you feel like doing when you’re stressed out but it can really help so if you can, push yourself to go anyway.

Keep on top of your physical health

Again, this can be tough when you’re not feeling great but being mindful of your physical health is pivotal in improving your mental health. Try to ensure you’re getting a good amount of sleep, keeping physically active and eating a balanced diet as all of these things can have a big impact on how you feel.

5 free apps to help:

We’ve made a list of 5 free apps that could help you manage your stress, from self-hypnosis and guided meditation to identifying your anxiety patterns. We urge you to check them out if you’ve got a minute:


Anxiety Free

Sleep Time

Worry Watch


The last tip we’ll leave you with is to seek help and support when you need it. There are numerous organisations out there ready to help. At Forth Valley College we offer a counselling service to all students free of charge, simply talk to one of our Learner Advisors at any of our campuses for more information.

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