What is stress?
Stress is a normal reaction to certain tasks or events in our lives, which happens automatically in our bodies. However, when stress gets too much and goes on for too long it stops being helpful to us and eventually can become a risk to our mental health.
You may have heard of the ‘fight or flight response’. This is when your body gets a surge of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which make you more alert and ready to react. It is very useful when we are threatened or in danger and need to run away or protect ourselves. However, when this reaction occurs regularly in situations where there is no real physical threat it can start to have a negative impact on both our mental and physical health.
What causes stress?
There are many reasons why you might feel over-stressed, different things causes stress in different people and often stress is the build-up of lots of things rather than a single event.
These are some of things that can cause stress:
- Pressure from school/college work and exams
- Lots of change – starting a new school or college or moving to a new area for example
- Problems with friendships or relationships
- Arguing with your parents/ lots of conflict at home
- Being bullied
- Your parents/carers splitting up
- Financial problems in your family
- Having lots of responsibilities – for example having to care for a parent or sibling, on top of school work
- Being homeless
- Being a young parent
- Someone close to you all being ill or dying