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Emotional Wellness

Combat Stress in 5 Easy Steps: A Comprehensive Guide

blog, we have built a comprehensive guide to help you combat stress and avoid the health issues that come with it. 

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Knowing how to combat stress is a concern for most people. According to an article posted on Campion Health, one in fourteen UK adults feel stressed on a daily basis and 74% of people have at some point been so stressed they felt that they couldn’t cope. We’ve all heard that stress is the number one killer, leading to heart disease and other health conditions we all want to avoid, so how can we effectively combat stress? In this blog, we have built a comprehensive guide to help you combat stress and avoid the health issues that come with it. 

Why is it important to combat stress?

Before we dive into the solution to the problem, let’s take a look at some quick statistics on why it’s so important to combat stress. 

Stress in the body has a direct link to our overall health. The NHS describes the physical symptoms of stress including:

  • stomach problems, stress headaches and other odd pains including muscle pain
  • skin reactions, like stress rashes and hives
  • feeling dizzy, sick or faint


Likewise, stress leads to high blood pressure and chest pains – but these symptoms should stop when your stress goes away.

Stress can also make us behave differently, especially around:

  • how much we eat or exercise
  • our habits around drinking, smoking or taking other substances
  • how much we see people or do things we used to do or enjoy (avoidance)

If we don’t know how to combat stress effectively and constantly feel stressed, this impacts our immune system, weakening it, and making us more susceptible to illness and disease. 

Stress also impacts our daily jobs, with:

  • 13.7 million working days are lost each year in the UK because of work-related stress, anxiety and depression, costing £28.3 billion yearly (NICE)
  • 60% of 18-24-year-olds and 41% of 25-34-year-olds feel pressured to succeed, versus just 17% of 45-54-year-olds and 6% of those over 55s (Mental Health Foundation and YouGov)
  • 23% of adults say that work causes them stress (CIPHR)


It’s easy to see from these facts and figures why it’s so important for us to know how to combat stress – so how do we do it?

Combat Stress Step 1: Recognize the Symptoms 

The first step in combatting stress is to identify and acknowledge the symptoms. These symptoms can vary from person to person but may include persistent feelings of anxiety, irritability, nightmares, difficulty concentrating, and a sense of isolation. You may also be experiencing some of the physical symptoms outlined above. By recognizing these signs, you can better understand the need to combat stress in your life and take appropriate action. Check in with yourself regularly, identify the physical and mental feelings that come with stress and take a moment to come back to the present moment. 

Combat Stress Step 2: Practice Stress-Reducing Techniques

The World Health Organization describes stress as “a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation.” It’s a natural human response that prompts us to address challenges and threats in our lives, however, we shouldn’t be in a state of constant stress all of the time. Incorporating stress-reducing techniques into your daily routine can significantly contribute to combatting stress. Try to engage in meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or physical exercise to help reduce tension and promote relaxation. Aim to choose only one of these coping mechanisms for now and gradually introduce it to your routine. These techniques can help restore balance to your mind and body, enabling you to better cope to combat stress. 

Combat Stress Step 3: Seek Professional Help

Combatting stress can be overwhelming, especially if you have formed unhealthy habits or reactions when you’re stressed out. While there are ways to reduce stress and improve the way we cope with it independently, you may need support from a professional to help you get to your desired goal. Seeking professional help is a great way to help you in managing stress effectively, as you’ll likely be presented with new ways to cope in your daily life. Mental health professionals specializing in trauma can provide the necessary guidance and support, offering various therapeutic interventions such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Person-centred therapy gets to the root cause of stress, which may be the ideal approach for those with unresolved trauma. They can help you develop personalized coping strategies and assist in the healing process in a way that works for you.

Combat Stress Step 4: Establish a Support Network

Building a strong support network is essential for combatting stress. Reach out to supportive friends, family or even support groups. Surround yourself with people who understand your experiences and can provide empathy and support. Sometimes just having someone to vent to can really make the world of difference. Consider joining support groups or online communities where you can share your thoughts and feelings openly. Connecting with others who have faced similar challenges can offer a sense of belonging and reduce the sense of isolation often associated with combat stress.

Combat Stress Step 5: Practice Self-Care

Self-care plays a crucial role in combatting stress and promoting overall well-being. Take time to prioritize activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Engage in hobbies, spend time in nature, read a book, or listen to music. Play is defined as “time spent without purpose”. Try to make time for uninhibited play – no check box, no conclusion, no destination or end goal, just play. If you’re a parent, paint a picture with your kids with no concern for the final outcome, have a water fight or ask them to make up a game and follow their lead. Kids are a great example of how we can get back to enjoying life and let go of the stress of it. Practice self-compassion and be gentle with yourself throughout the healing process. Remember, self-care is not selfish but rather an essential component of maintaining mental and emotional health. 

Key Take-Aways

Knowing how to combat stress can have a significant impact on your life, and it is a challenge that can be overcome. By following recognising the symptoms, seeking professional help, practising stress-reducing techniques, establishing a support network, and practising self-care – you can take control of combat stress and regain a sense of balance and well-being. Remember, it is never too late to seek help, and you deserve a life free from the burdens of stress. Take the first step today and embark on your journey towards healing and resilience today.

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