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Top tips on how to deal with stress

Stress can have a detrimental effect on people’s lives and it is usually caused by work demands. This is why NHS chiefs are educating local residents on the best ways to cope with the condition as part of Stress Awareness Month (April 1-30).

Doctors at NHS East Lancashire and NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are making sure everyone knows the best ways to handle stress so that it doesn’t take over their lives. Many people experience symptoms of stress and they are often brought on by high workloads or family difficulties, such as divorce or the death of a loved one.

Stress can affect your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. You may feel overwhelmed, have difficulty concentrating on a particular task or have constant headaches.

Stress is a common condition and it is important to know there are plenty of ways to help manage it.

Top tips on how to handle stress:

  • Make sure you have got a work/life balance so you are able to switch off when not at work
  • Share any issues you have with friends/family
  • Regular exercise and leading a healthy lifestyle
  • Have at least eight hours of sleep each night
  • Try the 10 stress busters to ease the symptoms of stress

Dr Rakesh Sharma, clinical lead at both CCGs, said: “Stress can have a big impact on people’s lives, which is why it’s important to know that there’s plenty of support available. There’s no need to suffer in silence – by taking a few simple steps you can start to control the symptoms of stress.

“A lot of people work long hours and have high workloads and this can be one of the main triggers for stress. There are several activities which you can do at home, including breathing exercises, and a number of useful apps which can be downloaded onto your phone.

“If none of these help I would advise people to contact their local GP who will be able to help relieve the symptoms of stress.”

You can take the mood self-assessment test on the NHS Choices website to help better understand how you feel. Once completed there are a number of resources available to help you tackle stress.

If you are still struggling with stress after trying the tips listed above, you should visit your GP for a consultation and they will be able to talk you through a number of options, including stress management courses.