Urban Creatives - Unlocking talent and potential within communities

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Notes on Stress

 Stress is individual.  One person’s stress is anothers motivation, fun even.  Other definitions include:-

  •  Too much to do in too little time
  • Too little to do with too much time
  • Too many problems and too little support
  • The gap between what you do and what you would like to do with your life

What is your definition of stress?  It can mean different things to different people.

 Events plus your belief of a threat, cause what is known as “the fight or flight” response. That is, there is a rush of adrenaline to prime the body for action, sending blood and heart rates up.  This would be great if you were being chased by a hungry bear or under attack but is not always so good for modern man/woman in the home or work, when the chemicals released just stay in the bloodstream.  

 What causes your stress levels to rise?

 What might be your payoff for staying stressed?  Bigger house, extra holidays, fancy car, no criticism?  Perhaps it is time to review your life, your values and decide what you really want.

We are healthiest when there is harmony between our body, mind and spirit and our lives should therefore include:

  •  Creativity
  • Beauty
  • Solitude
  • Appreciate
  • Family and friends

 Are there any immediate, practical ways of helping you to be less stressed?

As a start, you could perhaps:-

  • Deal with the little problems before they become unmanageable
  • Make lists, it's feels good ticking tasks off!
  • Avoid being a perfectionist
  • Clear away clutter and try to simplify your life
  • Delegate!
  • Take some time out to relax – it isn’t a luxury rather a necessity for all concerned. You could take up meditation, it is known to help.
  • Laugh, paint, draw, dance, walk enjoy something, anything!
  • Think carefully about your life, what you value and how to fit it into your day.

 Consider the following:

  •  Do you have any control in your life?
  • Do you bear grudges or feel resentment towards individuals?
  • How well do you deal with anger?
  • How assertive are you?
  • What is your attitude to situations/life?
  • How well do you manage your time?
  • What’s your motivation? Do you have any?
  • Are you doing things in a career/at home to always please others before yourself?

 Are you able to look at ‘stressful’ events and re-define them as non-threatening where possible, based upon the following :-

  •  Is this a crisis?
  • Will anyone die
  • Who will remember this as important in a few years?
  • Could you find something to laugh about in there?  Try harder

 Don’t be afraid of your feelings,  just learn how to handle them. Is your real fear the consequences of expressing those feelings?  If so, then learning how to communicate them rationally and calmly will be valuable to you.

 It is very important to know your limitations and be confident of asking for support.  Taking some time out for you may help you to realise where you could make some adjustments.


Take action to prevent stress.  Think about whether the stressor is something you are prepared to put up with, or do you need to change it? Sometimes you do need to remove yourself from the situation if you can’t change it.

Is the cause something you could prevent?  We bring a lot of stress on ourselves, through poor preparation and lack of organisation.  Leaving things to the last minute and not thinking ahead can make the difference between success and failure.

Is it something you could avoid?  Do you have to take that particular route to work through traffic? Is there a quieter time when you could go to the supermarket?

Do you need skills to develop the ability to say No?

Do you need to change your attitude?  Thinking about stress in a more positive way can make the difference to how your body responds, seeing it as a challenge, not as a threat, for example.

Keep yourself fit and healthy.

Exercise switches off the stress response; it makes you fitter and healthier.  It produces chemicals in the brain which improve mental functioning.  It uses up the excess energy resulting from stress, and enables you to relax.  When you feel tired at the end of a working day it is usually mental tiredness.  If you make the effort you can find the energy for swimming, working out, sport or whatever exercise you personally prefer.

Eat healthily and make sure you never miss meals. 

Have a life outside work, a hobby, social life, quality time with your family and friends – this helps keep things in perspective.

If necessary, seek the help of an outsider, a counsellor, an alternative therapist.  Talking issues through can help you to clarify them and focus your mind.

Work towards having control in both your professional and private life.  After the second world war,  research was done on stress in bomber pilots.  It was discovered that the co-pilots were more stressed than the pilots because being in control reduced stress levels.

If you don’t handle pressure well it will turn to stress and affect the whole of your life.

 If you have any concerns, thoughts or suggestions about this article then do feel free to contact us.


our mission

To encourage 'can do' attitudes, creative thinking and action, to see the role of the Arts and Creativity being recognised and valued, thus playing a key part in creating healthy, vibrant, enterprising communities, and to ensure that doing all of the above is as enjoyable as possible! as enjoyable as possible!

our vision

Urban Creatives' vision is to see The Arts, in all its formats, being used as a way to release untapped potential and creativity for the benefit of all communities across the Wirral peninsula.