Are you suffering from stress? Here's some expert advice on how to cope

Stress appears in many forms and can have a huge impact on your long-term health.
Stress appears in many forms and can have a huge impact on your long-term health.

Stress is a big part of life and can interfere with everyday activities. It appears in many forms and have a huge impact on your long-term health, not to mention affect your relationships with friends, family and colleagues.

Stress is triggered before a known situation, such as a performance, examination, job interview or public speaking.

Symptoms often include low energy, headaches, upset stomach, aches and pains, insomnia and frequent illness.

If this sounds all too familiar, I’ve compiled a number of tips and strategies that may help to ease your symptoms:

Get active

Whether dancing, running, swimming or something else entirely, getting active has been clinically proven to raise the body’s serotonin levels, making you more relaxed and not to mention more healthy! It can also distract from every day stressors by giving you something else to focus on.

Avoid caffeine

If you drink too much caffeine, it could actually leave you feeling more stressed than normal.

Caffeine is known to disrupt sleep as well as speed up the heartbeat.

Avoid coffee, tea and energy drinks if possible, as they contain caffeine. By doing so, it may help to reduce your feelings of stress.

Break the situation down

Try not to feel overwhelmed by the size of the situation that is causing stress – break it down into smaller tasks or problems, then tackle them one by one.

Don’t forget to breathe

Sometimes, when experiencing a distressing situation, our breathing can change and speed up.

Controlled breathing is a simple technique that encourages you to focus and slow down your breathing patterns, in order to help you manage your feelings more effectively and restore calm.

The most important thing is to recognise when stress is taking control of your life. Talk to others, and ask your local or online doctor about ways to get help that are best suited to you.

Dr. Alexandra Phelan is a NHS GP and Online Doctor for Pharmacy2U. Manage your repeat prescriptions by going to www.pharmacy2u.co.uk/NHS