Stress Awareness Month

By Demelza Desforges - MIN Ambassador, 19th April 2023.

April is Stress Awareness Month so we are promoting stress management strategies and sharing a post about the impact of stress.  Stress Awareness Month is an opportunity to start important conversations about stress and wellbeing, and to encourage people to prioritise their mental and physical health throughout the year.

What is Stress?

Stress is a state of mental tension or emotional strain resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.  It is a physical and psychological response to perceived threats, or challenges, whether they are physical, psychological or environmental. Stress upsets the natural state of balance in the body. It can be triggered by a wide range of factors,  including work pressures, financial difficulties, relationship issues, health problems, and major life changes. 

When we experience stress, our body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that trigger the ‘fight or flight’ response, preparing us to respond to the perceived threat. While short-term stress can be beneficial in helping us respond to challenges, chronic or excessive stress can lead to negative health effects such as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, anxiety and depression among others. Immune systems weakened by stress lead to burnout. 

Managing stress is an important aspect of maintaining overall well-being and preventing negative health outcomes. 

Top tips for managing stress:

Coercive control and Stress

While the prevalence of stress is widespread throughout the population, there is a significant link between coercive control and stress.

We know that coercive control is a pattern of abusive behavior that is characterised by the use of tactics such as isolation, intimidation and manipulation to dominate and control another person. This type of behaviour can have a significant impact on a victim’s mental and emotional well-being and it causes high levels of stress. Coercive control can create a sense of fear and helplessness in victims, which can lead to anxiety and depression and other mental health issues. Victims of coervice control may also experience physical symptoms of stress, like headaches, cold sores, fatigue and digestive troubles. 

Additionally, abusers force their victims to comply with their demands and expectations which creates additional stress and strain. Mums who use our service may feel like they are walking on eggshells or living in constant fear of triggering the abuser’s anger or retaliation.

It is important for individuals who are experiencing coercive control to seek help and support from a trusted friend, family member or professional. There are various local resources to contact for help and Mums In Need offers tailored support to Mums and their children affected by coercive control. There are lots of ways you can support Mums In Need to deliver this vital and unique service so don’t hesitate to get in touch.