Feeling tense, on edge, or restless

Feeling tense, on edge, or restless

It’s natural to feel worry during stressful and challenging times. When you are stressed the survival parts of your brain are more active and release adrenalin into your body to respond to these challenges. Your muscles tense ready for “fight or flight” and if your body remains in this state over time, you can start to feel aches and pains, for example in your shoulders and neck, or headaches.

Things that can help

Try to remember the things that usually help you to relax and unwind and, if you can, take time to do them. You might like to catch up with friends, go out for a walk, do some cooking or gardening, listen to music or watch an entertaining programme. Learning to relax our bodies can help reduce physical tension and make us feel less stressed. It can help us to feel calm and better able to focus. Using relaxation techniques can help to calm down the survival parts of our brain. Some people find that relaxation techniques work quickly for them, whereas others find they need to practice them over time before they start to work.

Click on this link for a 10-minute guided relaxation session.

Relaxation exercises can also be found on the Feeling Good app

Understanding responses to stress

This article is part of a series aimed at helping you understand responses to stress. Emergency situations, whether national, local, or within your team, are stressful and we want to equip you to manage them. There are a number of reactions that you or your colleagues might find yourself experiencing when faced with this stress, each article in this series is intended to help you overcome these.

You can read the other articles in the series by following the links below.

Feeling numb and detached

Unpleasant, intrusive memories or bad dreams

A change in my behaviour – avoiding reminders and people

Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

Feelings of guilt or shame

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