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Stress & pressure

Are pressure and stress the same?

You might hear people say they work in a ‘high-pressure environment’ or are ‘have a really stressful job’ and sometimes, use both to describe the same situation.  But are pressure and stress the same?

Pressure describes the demands that are put on us, both in our home lives and at work. This could be everything from making sure we get the kids to school on time to reaching deadlines or targets at work.  The amount of pressure we are under can fluctuate and most of the time our pressure levels are fine.

We all need a certain amount of pressure to be effective at home and work. If we don’t have enough pressure we can get bored or frustrated. Think of it like a tyre – it runs perfectly with the right pressure or runs flat without enough.

Stress happens when we have too much pressure. This can be lots of different pressures all at once or an event which tips us over from pressure to stress, such as an unexpected bill, something happens to someone we care about or extra hours at work to meet a deadline.  Think about it like a tyre or a balloon - add too much pressure and the stress can make it unstable or even burst.

Does stress affect the things you have to do each day?

Whether you're feeling stressed all the time or just sometimes, check out our top tips to help you feel more in control

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