Stress is experienced when we believe that the demands we are facing go beyond our ability to cope with them. It is normal to feel upset or distressed by stress.

The demands that trigger stress can come from different sources, including the environment (e.g. a storm, very hot or very cold weather), social factors (e.g. having lots of social activities on), physical symptoms (e.g. having a cold or headache) and from our thoughts (e.g. thinking “I cannot cope with any of this”). Stress can also come from minor hassles in our life (e.g. being late for an appointment because you missed your train) as well as from major life changes (e.g. moving house or a relationship breakup).


As well as feeling distressed or upset, there are a number of signs that a person is stressed. These can vary for different people and situations, but might include feeling on edge, hyperactive, irritable or angry; experiencing headaches and tight muscles; feeling extra tired, and having difficulty sleeping.


Stress is not a diagnosable mental health disorder; rather it is a symptom of difficulties with coping, but it can be related to other mental health conditions.  
Last Updated : 22-Sep-2013