April is also stress awareness month. Stress awareness month is held each year to raise awareness of the detrimental impact of too much stress, and stress management techniques. Click here to join the 30 Day challenge. Pick one action daily for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
It takes 30 days to turn actions into habits, so the 30-day challenge will maximise your chances of turning useful knowledge and techniques into positive behavioural change.
Why stress isn’t all bad
Some stress is good for us and our performance - be that in exams, in sports or giving a presentation. Too much is not good for us though, particular over extended periods.
Stress is the body's reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. It's an evolutionary response designed to keep us safe. It's very common to experience stress and it can be motivating to help us achieve things in our daily life. Stress becomes problematic when we don't have the tools to manage it, and when it's ongoing or long-term.
The Yerkes-Dodson law describes the optimum performance we experience with some stress, but how too much stress can impair our performance. Performance can relate to both physical performance (for example a sports activity) or mental performance (for example a presentation or exam).
So – some stress is helpful and normal. But at what point does it become problematic?
Try to think about your stress in terms of the ‘stress bucket’ analogy. If you experience too much stress, your bucket will overflow. A good way of keeping this in check is remembering that stress becomes problematic when it starts to get in the way of your day-to-day life.
There are lots of stress management resources available and it can feel overwhelming knowing where to start! Everyone is different and you need to find techniques that work for you. To help you out, we have organised these resources based on your learning preferences. If you prefer to learn visually through video content, take a look at the LinkedIn Learning course, other explanatory and relaxation videos. If you prefer to read through articles, our favourites are listed below.
Prefer to learn through video content?
Here is our favourite stress management course from LinkedIn Learning. You’ll learn to set and stick to realistic goals, focus on what’s important, manage yourself and your emotions, get organised, set a positive attitude, and influence others.
Tips for managing stress
Like to read articles?
If you feel that the stress you are experiencing is not manageable, ask for support. You could start with a one-off appointment with Counselling and Mental Health. If your workload is the main cause of your stress though, speak with your Programme team too. Don't forget that it's expected that you experience some stress during your time at MDX, but you shouldn't ever be feeling so alone that you cannot cope.
Counselling and Mental Health offer safe group spaces to discuss experiences with fellow students, learn skills and offer support to help you better understand yourselves.
Teams across the University are regularly coordinating a number of events which you might useful to manage your stress levels.