Stress – how to cope and build resilience [video]

Stuart Haydock
Organisational psychologist - resilience lead
13 October 2017
Next review due October 2020

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This article is more than three years old. It reflects the best available evidence at the time of publication.

All of us experience a certain amount of pressure in our day-to-day lives, and often the causes of this are out of our control. On some days, coping with these pressures may seem easy. But on others, they may begin to build up and leave you feeling stressed out. But what if there were some things you could do to help build up your tolerance level to pressure and help you cope with stress? This is known as building resilience.

In this video, I explain more about pressure and stress and share some of the ways you can build your level of resilience.

What do we mean by stress?

You might feel stressed when the pressures in your life outweigh your ability to cope with them. It’s important to remember that the point when you reach your threshold for pressure, and begin to feel stressed, will be different to someone else’s. This is because your tolerance to pressure is based on your own lifestyle, mindset, behaviours and experiences.

What are the long-term effects of stress?

If you’re feeling stressed, you might lose focus and find it hard to concentrate. Over time, too much stress can lead to changes in your emotions and behaviours, as well as how you feel physically. In the long term, it can also increase your risk of health problems like anxiety, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, skin conditions and digestive problems.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the idea that you can build your tolerance level to pressure before it turns into stress. You can do this by living a healthy lifestyle and changing how you think and behave in certain situations.

How can I build my resilience?

To help build your resilience to pressure and stress, try:

  • increasing the amount of exercise you do
  • eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • making sure you get plenty of sleep
  • cutting down on caffeine and alcohol
  • practising assertiveness and learning when to say no to tasks you can’t handle
  • asking for help when you begin to feel under pressure

What’s the most important thing I could do to improve my resilience?

To help keep stress at bay, assess your workload on a day-to-day basis. Try to manage your time well by dividing tasks up into small, realistic and achievable goals to help stop the pressure from mounting. Avoid procrastinating by getting harder tasks out of the way early. Finally, be realistic about the time tasks will take you to complete and the commitments you make.

Where can I go for more information?

If you’d like to practise building your resilience to manage stress, there are lots of mindfulness, relaxation and time management apps and websites available free of charge. So have a look around and see which one feels like the right fit for you. We also have other blogs about mindfulness and relaxation that you may find helpful.

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Stuart Haydock
Stuart Haydock
Organisational psychologist - resilience lead

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