Stress is a feeling of being overwhelmed by mental or emotional pressure. The body initiates a “fight-or-flight” response while under stress, releasing a number of stress hormones and chemicals, including cortisol, norepinephrine, and adrenaline, which affects the body’s resting state. These physiological alterations include: a faster heartbeat, dilated blood vessels, deeper breathing, relaxed bladder, and reduced digestion and salivation.

Stress is a normal and inevitable part of life. A small amount of stress can be adaptive, encouraging someone to finish a task or respond to a threatening situation or stimulus, much like our caveman predecessors did when faced with sabre-toothed tigers. However, excessive stress has a negative impact on a person’s mental and physical health.

The goal isn’t to eliminate stress (that would be impossible), but instead attempt to reduce and recover from some of life’s daily stressors. Knowing how to cope with stress can often reduce the negative effects stress can have on one’s mind, body, and emotions. Several strategies for minimising the negative consequences of stress are listed below.

Contributed By Ellie, Richmond Fellowship Recovery & Connect Worker

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