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What's the difference between pressure and stress?

Watch the video to explore the differences between pressure and stress, and how pressure can lead to stress . . .

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People often think pressure and stress are the same, but this is not the case. Pressure can lead to stress, and they are closely connected, but they are different states and feelings.

You will regularly experience pressure at work, and it can come from many different sources, including having specific tasks to deliver within a timeframe or having deadlines to meet. It can also be something you put on yourself, through having high expectations or from being a 'perfectionist'.

Pressure can be positive and a motivating factor and is often essential in helping you to carry out your job, particularly when something needs to be done quickly. It can help you to work at your best, achieve your goals and perform better.

Stress occurs when this pressure becomes excessive and it is a natural reaction which we often refer to as our fight or flight response.

Stress in itself is not a mental illness - it is a state. Acute stress can occur when faced with a challenging situation, such as a job interview or exam - we can call these situations stressors and our response to them is natural, and in many cases healthy.

However, mental and physical illness can develop if the stressed state remains and becomes chronic, and this is why it is important to develop strategies to manage our stressors and the stress they can create. You can explore some of these strategies in the 'Stress Management' course which you can work through at your pace. You can take this course at any time by going to your 'my courses' page.

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