What is stress?

If the demands on us outweigh our resources to cope with them, we can start to feel overwhelmed.

If this sounds like you, you're not alone. It's really normal to go through periods in your life where stress takes over. How we manage stress and look after our mental health can make a huge difference to how we feel. Find out below what the common symptoms and causes of stress are. 

For some people, these things would only cause a small amount of stress which is manageable. However, sometimes they can lead to you feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Too much stress can affect our emotions and negatively impact the way we live our lives. Experiencing these feelings over the long-term can lead to exhaustion, or "burnout".


Causes of stress

There are many life events which can lead to you feeling stressed, including:  

  • Money worries
  • Losing your job
  • Increasing work demands
  • Illness in the family
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Moving house
Man with beard looking stressed
Man with beard looking stressed

Symptoms of stress

Feeling hopeless
Finding making decisions difficult
Finding it difficult to sleep
Your mind racing
Endlessly thinking things through
Being angry or irritable
Stress headaches
Stress rash or hives
Feeling dizzy or faint

How can Talking Therapies help with stress?

If you are worried about your symptoms of stress, talking therapies can help. We can help you to make sense of your stress. Cognitive behavioural therapy or guided self-help may be able to help you manage your stress and feel better.

woman with cup of tea

Ready to refer?

If you are struggling to cope with stress, we can help. 

Self-refer now

Find out more

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Living well programme
This programme is a free six-session self-management course developed for people living with any long-term health condition across West Sussex and is run by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.
Stress information on the Every Mind Matters Website
Find out more about what stress is, with helpful tips and videos.
Stress management society
This website has free resources including a free stress guide.

How are you feeling?

Group of women sitting at a table having some drinks
I feel anxious or worried
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear or unease. It is often a feeling associated with the future, and worries about what is going to happen.
Man sitting on a sofa looking at a tablet
I feel depressed or low
We all feel low from time to time. Life is full of ups and downs, and it's normal to feel sad and upset - it is part of being human. But these feelings can take over and become a problem for us.
A patient and doctor looking at a clipboard of notes
Long-term health conditions
Our physical and mental health are very much linked. Our mood can be affected by changes in our physical health, and we can become worried and low about how our bodies feel. This can be especially true if you are living with a health condition. You don't have to go through these worries alone.