Guide 4 Life Harrogate

Stressed Out Session

Stressed Out Session

Stressed out? Ways of letting yourself off the hook

What's the difference between pressure and stress?


Pressure can be helpful as it gives us the push to get things done. It can be external (course deadlines, exams) or internal (wanting to succeed, ambition, commitment).


Stress occurs when different demands appear so great that your body goes into 'emergency mode' to cope. This helps in a physical emergency, e.g. escaping a threatening situation, but it's not so helpful for meeting study demands or social situations. If you allow stress to build up over a long period you can end up with 'burn out' where exhaustion results in no longer being able to function fully. Time for action!

There are several things that you can do to help yourself cope better. Think of your stress as a puzzle to be solved:

  • Think about the situations that stress you, and how you behave.
  • Think about how you could behave differently in these situations, so that you would feel more in control.
  • Imagine how other people might behave if you acted differently.
  • List all the things you can think of that would make life easier or less stressful - write them down on a piece of paper. This can help you sort things out in your head.

Some useful sources of information: