As we enter April and look forward to an Easter break, it is worth noting that this month is Stress Awareness Month.
Stress “can influence our physical and psychological health, or more simply, too much stress can make you ill.” (1)
It is important to recognise when everyday stresses build up and manifest themselves physically. When the situation I am facing becomes stressful, I get piercing headaches, my heart palpitates and I feel nauseous. I also feel helpless and vulnerable not just emotionally but physically.
It is also important to recognise that some stress is environmentally and societally imposed, e.g. being bullied, facing discrimination in your everyday life, and peer and/or establishment pressure to succeed and deliver.
There are of course simple and practical ways to help reduce stress like immersing yourself in a creative hobby, listening to music, and going for a walk. But all these individual responses may only be possible if the wider community and society as a whole create positive and sustainable environments where inequality, violence, discrimination and bullying are forever discouraged, and practical safety nets are in place.
There are a selection of books on display about stress in the Reading Room.
For more information about Stress Awareness Month, go to:
- Bartlett, Dean. Stress : perspectives and processes – Buckingham : Open University Press, 1988.