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What is stress?
Stress is a normal part of life and we all experience it from time-to-time, for example, day-to-day frustrations like traffic jams or noisy neighbours, as well as significant life changes like moving house, job loss and financial worries can all contribute to our stress levels.

If you experience excessive work or home-related pressure, this can lead to a build up of stress which can make us less efficient and unable to cope with everyday activities which can then lead to ill health.

Stress is not a medical diagnosis, but severe stress which continues for a long time may lead to a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, or more severe mental health problems.

You can reduce the effects of stress by being more conscious of the things that cause it and learning to handle them better, using relaxation techniques as well as other lifestyle changes.

Research shows one in four people will suffer some kind of mental health problem during their lives.

What is the best way to handle pressure?
Manage your time:
  • identify the best time of the day to do the important tasks that need the most energy
  • make a list of things to do
  • try to vary tasks in the day
Act positively:
  • have a change of scene - try to focus on what is happening rather than thinking about your worries
  • relax for a few minutes once you have finished a task
  • develop an absorbing hobby or interest
Make time for your friends:
  • practise being straightforward and assertive in communicating with others
  • if you find yourself in conflict with others, try to find solutions which are positive for them as well as you
  • try to accept the things you cannot change
Would you recognise the symptoms of stress?
There are a number of symptoms that suggest you are under stress, the more you experience, the more stressed out you are.

How you may feel:
  • irritable
  • aggressive
  • taking no interest in life
  • depressed
  • dreading the future
  • fearing failure
These are just some of the things you may experience.

How can we help you?
Our talking therapies service offers a
self-referral facility in Haltonself-referral facility in Knowsley,self-referral facility in St Helens and self-referral facility in Wigan. You don't have to be referred by a doctor. If you, a friend or relative are experiencing high levels of anxiety and are interested in finding out about treatment, you can refer yourself. If you live outside these areas, visit your GP for help and advice.

If you feel you are in mental health crisis, visit our help in a crisis page for advice and support.

Further information
In this short video our Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Tracey Hampton-Smith explores the subject of stress awareness, providing useful tips on dealing with stress and encouraging people who are concerned about stress to seek help.

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