Free stress control group-based course options available from MyWellbeing CollegeMyWellbeing College, which helps people navigate their way through life’s ups and downs, will be backing International Stress Awareness Day, 1 November, and is supporting people to beat stress with free courses available through the college.

Stress is part of everyday life and can be beneficial; it can get us out of bed in the morning and motivates us throughout the day.  But high levels over a long period can be bad for our health leaving us feeling irritable with friends and family, anxious, tired, unable to sleep and feeling that there are not enough hours in the day to get things done.

Factors such as heavy workloads, moving house, bereavement, getting married, relationship issues, money worries, low mood and health issues are all circumstances that can result in stress.

The free stress control group-based course, which runs over a six week period, has been helping people in Bradford, Wharfedale, Airedale and Craven to spot the early signs and manage stress. Stress control is also a course with a difference, as people can bring along a friend, carer, partner or relative for additional support.

Gemma Pywell benefited from enrolling on a course to tackle stress, which led to a boost in self-confidence and a positive impact on her life. From the age of eleven Gemma felt anxious and shy in social settings. This led to Gemma experiencing low mood, anxiety and loneliness during her teenage years. Now 20 years of age and a confident dental nurse, Gemma credits the course with giving her the tools she needed to tackle stress.
Elaborating further Gemma explained: “I’ve always been quite a shy and anxious person, especially when it came to going places and big groups, that’s always been my big thing, social settings, and it’s developed through my teens to low mood and feeling lonely.”  Gemma was offered a variety of options including phone advice, one-to-one or group courses.  “I chose to go for the group course because I’d had one-to-one counselling before and thought this time, why not be a bit more daring so I decided to step out of my comfort zone a little bit. I surprised myself a lot by speaking out in front of the group, which was good.  I definitely feel the experience and the course helped me build my confidence.  Everyone was really welcoming and it was a good way to learn new methods to manage anxiety and stress.”

During the sessions course participants will find out more about stress, recognising the signs and physical symptoms, techniques to manage stress, including relaxation exercises, tips and techniques to do at home, as well as a one minute meditation taster session to give people a flavour of what is available through the MyWellbeing College.  Attendees will also hear about factors which contribute to stress, including alcohol, caffeine and smoking.

Gayle Porter, Clinical Manager, at MyWellbeing College said: “Stress can affect any of us at points in our lives.  Recognising the signs and symptoms, by attending one of the many stress control courses run locally, can help people experiencing stress to manage it more effectively.  People that have attended sessions have credited the course with getting them back on track.”

The MyWellbeing College is open to anyone over the age of 16 who is registered with a GP in Bradford, Wharfedale, Airedale or Craven.  People don’t have to go through their GP to enrol on a course, they can register online at www.bmywellbeingcollege.nhs.uk or give the enrolment team a call on 0300 555 5551 to chat through the range of options available.