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Stress is the feeling of being under pressure. Stress affects different people in different ways and individuals will have different mental and physical symptoms of stress.

Mental Symptoms
Physical Symptoms
Life events/circumstances that can cause stress

However, sometimes, there are no clear causes of stress. Some people naturally feel more frustrated, anxious, or depressed than others, which can lead to them feeling stressed more often.

It is important to speak to someone about how you feel particularly if it is interfering with your daily life. Speak to your GP if you are stressed or under too much pressure. There are different things that your GP may suggest. The treatment may depend on the underlying cause of your stress, the symptoms you are having or whether or not you have been diagnosed with any other conditions. Some of the treatments are outlined below (click on the treatment you want to find out more about):-

1. Self Help

Work out what makes you stressed and how you behave/react in these circumstances. Think of ways in which you can manage those pressures so that you can deal with them in different ways. If you are worrying about things beyond your control - try not to. Instead think about things that are within your control e.g. your workload, or your time off. Learn to say 'no'. Make a list of new priorities that you can do something about. Make a list of the stressful things in your life and a list of what would make life less stressful. Prioritise enough time to do some exercise everyday and to make sure you are eating healthily and getting enough sleep.

2. Counselling
3. Anger Management
4. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
5. Support groups
6. Medication


Being able to identify what leads to stress is an important step in preventing it. You may find some of these useful:

  • Deep Breathing
  • Fluids
  • Sleep
  • Quit Smoking
  • Relaxation
  • Healthy Eating – eat a healthy balanced diet, see our ‘Healthy Eating’ section for more information.
  • Exercise. Keep active: see our ‘Physical Activity’ section for more information.
  • Drink alcohol sensibly: see our 'Alcohol' section for more information and use the Alcohol Units Calculator to find out how many units you are drinking


Book Prescription Wales

As recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) people with mild to moderate mental health problems can also be helped by reading appropriate “self-help” material. Many self-help books have been shown to be effective in helping people to manage a range of mental health problems. Such books, from a recommended list, are now available to be "prescribed" to patients, under the Book Prescription Wales scheme. To find out more, see the related links section for our Book Prescription Wales pages.

Click here for more information on Book Prescription Wales.

Better With Books

The Better With Books Wales scheme is a recommended self help book list that encourages children and young people to consider reading a book to help them work through a difficult period in their lives, or who may be dealing with mild to moderate mental ill health or emotional distress. Books from a recommended list are now available. These can be recommended to children and young people not only by a GP, but by parents, carers and other professionals who come into contact with them.

Click here for more information on Better With Books.

Click here for more information on Stress.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Frequent Crying
  • Anger
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Feeling Tired
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Food Craving
  • Changes in Behaviour
  • Chest Pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting Spells
  • Cramps or Muscle Spasms
  • Biting your Nails
  • Nervouse Twitches
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Pins and Needles
  • Feeling Restless
  • Sweating More
  • Sexual Difficulties
  • Breathlessness
  • Muscular Aches
  • Money Matters
  • Job Issues
  • Moving House
  • Family Problems
  • Bereavement
  • Relationships