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It’s normal to feel stressed sometimes, but if you always feel under-the-pump it can have a really negative impact on your mind and body. This is because stress is supposed to be a short-term response to danger and not a constant state of being. If you know the signs that you’re experiencing stress, you’ll be better placed to keep it under control.

Is stress always bad?

Feeling stressed can be normal, healthy and helpful – depending on the situation. Stress is the fight-or-flight response that gets you through job interviews, impromptu speeches and those awkward encounters with your ex. In these situations, stress helps you to overcome a short-term challenge that you know you can handle. It’s only a problem when it’s constant or the situation is out of your control. At times like these, it’s important to know how to cope with stress.

What are the signs of stress?

When your body senses danger, it releases stress hormones that cause short-term physical changes. These changes help you to stay focused and alert until things are under control. However, if stress is constant and these changes persist, they can lead to serious problems in the long term.

what stress does to the body infographic

What can you do about it?

Learning to identify and manage stress will help you to feel happier and healthier in the long run. Coping with stress is about trying to solve the problems that are within your control and learning to accept the things you can’t change. We’ve come up with four questions to ask yourself the next time you’re feeling stressed, to help you decide on your next move.

What can I do now?