It’s the little things that make a big difference… #StressAwareness

As we mark Stress Awareness Month, we aim to raise awareness about the importance of understanding and addressing stress.


Here are some key statistics from 2024 in relation to stress [1]: 

  • 1 in 5 over 16s in the UK are stressed every single day 
  • A huge 63% of people in the UK are stressed at least weekly – up from just over a third 6 years ago 
  • Only 6% of people say they are never stressed 
  • Women are more likely to experience daily stress (24.52%) than men (15.33%) 

We have explored practical advice, mindfulness techniques, and self-care practices to help you adopt a healthier relationship with stress. There are a range of different tools and techniques we can use to relieve stress. Below we have explored: Balanced Diet, Exercise, Sleep, Mindfulness, and Connecting with others.

Balanced Diet


A balanced diet can help with stress by providing essential nutrients that support your body’s ability to manage stress.

Having a balanced diet can help reduce stress in the following ways [2]: 

  • Blood Sugar Levels: Balanced meals with complex carbohydrates can help stabilise blood sugar levels, preventing energy crashes that contribute to stress. 
  • Nutrient Intake: Having a variety of nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants can support brain function and reduce stress. 
  • Gut Health: A balanced diet with fibre-rich foods can promote a healthy gut, which has been linked to improved mood and reduced stress levels.  
  • Hydration: Stress can cause dehydration, and dehydration can cause stress. It is key to stay hydrated by drinking enough water as it is crucial for overall well-being and can help manage stress. 



Physical activity can increase your endorphins. Endorphins are natural brain chemicals that can contribute to your sense of well-being, helping you to manage stress. 

Getting enough exercise can help reduce stress in the following ways [3]: 

  • Release of Endorphins: Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, which are natural mood elevators and can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. 
  • Stress Reduction: Engaging in exercise can act as a form of stress relief by providing a distraction from worries and promoting a sense of well-being. 
  • Improved Sleep: Regular exercise can improve the quality of sleep, which is crucial for managing stress levels and overall mental health. 
  • Physical Health Benefits: Exercise can enhance overall physical health, which in turn can build resilience to stress and improve your ability to cope with challenging situations. 
  • Time for Self-Care: Taking time for exercise allows for self-care, providing a break from stressors and promoting a more balanced lifestyle. 



A good night’s sleep allows you to tackle the day’s stress more easily. When you’re tired, you’re less patient and more easily agitated, which can increase stress. 

Getting enough sleep can help reduce stress in the following ways [4]: 

  • Restoration and Recovery: During sleep, the body undergoes essential processes for repair and recovery, both physically and mentally. This restoration is vital for coping with stress. 
  • Emotional Regulation: Sufficient sleep helps regulate emotions and improve mood stability, making it easier to handle stressful situations. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep. 
  • Cognitive Function: Good sleep enhances cognitive function, including decision-making and problem-solving abilities, which are essential for managing stress effectively. 
  • Stress Hormone Regulation: Sleep plays a role in regulating stress hormones like cortisol, and a lack of sleep can lead to increased stress levels. 
  • Overall Well-being: Consistent, quality sleep is fundamental for overall well-being, resilience, and the capacity to deal with daily stressors. 

Prioritising sleep hygiene and ensuring you get the recommended amount of sleep each night can significantly contribute to your ability to cope with and reduce stress in your life. 

Practising Mindfulness


Mindfulness can be a powerful tool in managing stress by promoting present-moment awareness and acceptance.  

Practising mindfulness can help reduce stress in the following ways [5]: 

  • Stress Reduction: Mindfulness practices, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help reduce stress by calming the mind and body’s stress response. 
  • Increased Self-Awareness: Being mindful allows you to observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment, helping you recognise stressors and patterns that contribute to stress. 
  • Improved Focus and Clarity: Mindfulness can enhance focus and mental clarity, enabling you to approach stressful situations with a more composed and rational mindset. 
  • Emotional Regulation: By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to manage emotions more effectively, reducing reactive responses to stressors. 
  • Enhanced Resilience: Regular mindfulness practice can build resilience, enabling you to bounce back from stress more quickly and effectively. 

Incorporating mindfulness techniques into your daily routine, even for a few minutes each day, can have a significant impact on your ability to cope with stress and lead a more balanced life. 

Connecting with others


Human connection releases a hormone called Oxytocin. Our blood pressure lowers, and cortisol (stress hormone) is reduced when oxytocin is released. Connecting with others can create a sense of belonging, being cared for, and valued. 

Connecting with others can help reduce stress in the following ways [6]: 

  • Social Support: Building strong relationships and having a support system can provide emotional support during times of stress, helping you feel understood and less isolated. 
  • Sharing Perspectives: Talking to others can offer different viewpoints and insights, helping you gain new perspectives on stressful situations and potential solutions. 
  • Distraction and Enjoyment: Engaging in social activities or spending time with loved ones can serve as a welcome distraction from stressors and bring enjoyment to your life. 
  • Sense of Belonging: Feeling connected to others fosters a sense of belonging and community, which can boost self-esteem and resilience when dealing with a stressful situation. 
  • Physical and Emotional Well-being: Positive social interactions can release oxytocin, a hormone that promotes feelings of well-being and relaxation, counteracting the effects of stress hormones. 

Whether through spending time with friends and family, joining a support group, or participating in social activities, nurturing connections with others can be a valuable resource for managing stress and improving overall well-being. 

Remember, these are only a few ways to reduce your stress levels, sometimes even the simpler things in life such as taking a deep breath can make a big difference in helping you keep your stress levels at a healthy range for you. It is important to prioritise taking care of yourself in your daily routine.