Five common causes of stress

Are you someone who gets stressed easily? You are not alone. Feelings of stress can be triggered by all sorts of things that are happening in your life. It doesn’t matter how big an event is – the smallest thing can overwhelm you so you should never be afraid to seek help if you are feeling the strain. We have compiled a list of five common causes of stress with help from Mind.

1. Lack of control

A lack of control in any environment can cause a lot of stress. There are many reasons why a situation might be out of your hands which can make you feel helpless. Sometimes, there is nothing you can do apart from ‘ride it out’. But if you are feeling the effects of something beyond your control, make sure you confide in someone. Especially if they can help alleviate those feelings.

2. Having too much to do

Having too much to do can be very common in the workplace. Being in a fast-paced environment can be stressful for anyone to deal with and tight deadlines can make this a lot worse. Just remember that your mental health always comes first so, if you feel overwhelmed, speak to your line manager or someone from human resources in your workplace.

3. Not having enough to do

As well as being stressed from having too many responsibilities, you can also feel the pressure from not having enough to do. Times like this can occur during your job if you are having a particularly slow day and have already finished your work. These feelings are heightened if you don’t have many hobbies in your free time. You should try and find an activity you can do out of work such as reading or going for a run. Not only will these keep your brain active, they can also relieve symptoms of stress.

4. Your perception of a situation

Depending on your mentality, the way you perceive a situation might make you more stressed than others in your position. This can depend on several factors such as your self-esteem or how you process information. There is no wrong or right answer with how you look at something, but if you are someone that tends to see the negative side, you should always find someone to talk to about it.

5. Worrying about something

Being worried about something can be incredibly stressful. Much the same as the point above, if you are someone who perceives something in a certain way, you can struggle with worry more than others. You should always remember that no matter how big or small a problem might seem, your feelings speak louder than words. If you feel that your worry over something is causing you more stress than you can handle, you should make sure someone knows how you feel.

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We need to talk about mental health at university

More and more universities are appearing in the news with issues regarding mental health.

The most recent being the University of East Anglia (UEA), which revealed that ‘mental health improvements [were] needed’ after four students had taken their lives on campus since May.

UEA’s student union have now started drafting its first mental health manifesto after the fourth death occurred earlier in March.

But more needs to be done.

Why is mental health such an issue at university?

For many new students, this is the first time that they have lived away from home. As well as this, many students choose universities quite far away from their home towns.

This can prove quite detrimental to certain students. While many adapt to living independently like a duck to water, some can really struggle with the notion of not having their support network around them anymore.

This can cause new students to become isolated and lonely which can result in them experiencing mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

How does it affect education?

If students withdraw into themselves because of mental health, it can be harmful to their education.

If a student has not made many friends, they may not have anybody checking up on them to see if they have been attending their lessons. When you are in a bad frame of mind, it can be hard to find the motivation to get up for lectures.

How can it be improved?

While there are many universities that provide mental health support, it is often the case that students feel embarrassed or even ashamed to seek help.

To help combat this, services that offer anonymity could be useful for those who do not wish to be named when asking for help.

This is why the Charlie Watkins Foundation set up Chat with Charlie, an anonymous 1:1 platform in which students can speak to trained volunteers if they are struggling.

It is currently only available at the University of Essex but it is the foundation’s dream to roll this out to universities nationwide.

If you want to help, you can donate to the foundation’s JustGiving page.

There is so much more that needs to be done for students at university who might be struggling with their mental health. But it is the foundation’s hope that Chat with Charlie paves the way for others to make a difference.

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