Stress is a major issue in the UK. In 2018, YouGov undertook a poll an online poll on behalf of the Mental Health Foundation, with a sample size of 4,619 people. This was the largest known study of stress levels in the UK.
The results of this study were striking! The findings concluded;
- Nearly three quarters (74%) of people felt so stressed that they were unable to cope.
- Just over half (51%) of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious.
- Of the people who said they had felt stress at some point in their lives, 16% had self-harmed and 32% said they had had suicidal thoughts and feelings.
- Over a third (37%) of adults who reported feeling stressed said they felt lonely as a result.
- And just under half (46%) reported that they ate too much or ate unhealthily due to stress, while 29% reported that they started drinking or increased their drinking, and 16% reported that they started smoking or increased their smoking.
These statistics make for difficult reading and, whilst the reasons for feeling stressed are many and varied, the statistics show that the majority of people (around 55% in 2016) do not seek help to deal with their stress levels.
What is stress?
Stress is our body’s reaction to a situation or life event. In reaction to stressful events, either real or imagined, our body will trigger the release of a number of stress hormones, which can trigger our “fight or flight” response.
This is our bodies’ way of preparing itself for danger and to make us better able to protect ourselves.
Acute stress vs Chronic stress
- Acute stress
- Acute stress is where a short-term level of stress is experienced, can be a normal and even beneficial response. It can make us motivated and sharpen our senses; for example when giving a speech to a large group of people or performing at a high level in a sports event or a test.
- Chronic stress
- Where the feeling of stress persists over time. If left unchecked, chronic stress can begin to affect our physical and mental health and result in unwanted behaviours and more generalised anxiety, where we can even begin to worry about worrying.
Don’t leave it until it gets too much
It’s never too late to get help for these issues. And please don’t write yourself off as a “natural born worrier”. Everyone can improve their ability to deal with stress and to find new ways of reducing the effect of stress on their lives.
Through Hypnotherapy, I can help you to identify areas of stress in your life and to develop strategies and tools to deal with stress in a healthy and positive way, so that you can feel calm, in control and confident when stressful events inevitably occur.
Stressful events can and will occur to even the very best of us. If you feel that you’re struggling to cope, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me but at least speak to someone, whether that be a family member, friend or even your GP.