Most of us know what it’s like to feel stressed, but it’s not easy to pin down exactly what stress means.

When we say things like “this is stressful” or “I’m stressed”, we might be talking about:

  • Situations or events that put pressure on us – for example, times where we have lots to do and think about, or don’t have much control over what happens
  • Our reaction to being placed under pressure – the feelings we get when we have demands placed on us that we find difficult to cope with

There’s no medical definition of stress, and health care professionals often disagree over whether stress is the cause of problems or the result of them. Whatever your personal definition of stress is, it’s likely that you can learn to manage your stress better by:

  • managing external pressures, so stressful situations don’t seem to happen to you quite so often
  • developing your emotional resilience, so you’re better at coping with tough situations when they do happen and don’t feel quite so stressed

Download our information publication: Understanding Stress

We've put together helpful information, tips and useful organisations to help you or someone you love better understand stress. Download your copy below. For more information on mental health problems and other support, check out the SAMH Information Service

Understanding Stress

This resource explains what stress is, what might cause it and how it can affect you. It includes information about ways you can help yourself and how to get support.

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