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Stress Awareness Month 2024

Stress Awareness Month takes place in April every year, to highlight the health risks of stress and how to improve our mental health and well-being. According to Statista, the most common forms of stress in the UK are:

  • Work-related stress (79% of people surveyed reported this)
  • Stress about money and finances (60% of people surveyed reported this)
  • Family-related stress (48% of people surveyed reported this)

Stress Awareness Month aims to raise awareness for both the causes of stress and the easiest ways to reduce our stress levels. Throughout April, healthcare professionals and charities work hard to support people living with stress and to provide helpful resources and advice.

This year, a 30-day challenge has been launched for Stress Awareness Month.This challenge encourages people across the UK to make one positive change each day to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

A picture of a stopwatch

60-Second Summary – Stress Awareness Month 2024

Stress Awareness Month is observed in April each year, to highlight the health risks of stress and to promote mental well-being. Common causes of stress in the UK include work-related stress, money and finance issues, and family-related stress.

Applying for a new life insurance policy can also feel stressful for some people, which is why our experts work hard to explain all the steps and to make the process as smooth as possible.

  • Stress Awareness Month focuses on raising awareness of the causes of stress and providing resources for stress reduction, including a new 30-day challenge to complete in April.
  • Stress management tips include identifying stress triggers, breaking tasks into manageable steps, engaging in self-care activities, seeking support, and considering therapy options.
  • If you are really struggling with stress (or your mental health in general), various UK organisations can help. Charities like Mind and Mental Health UK can provide online resources and will have someone impartial that you can talk to about your feelings.
  • If you’re worried that stress will affect your ability to get life insurance, you can speak to a mental health life insurance expert for support and guidance.

When is Stress Awareness Month UK?

April has been Stress Awareness Month in the UK since 1992. This awareness month encourages people to address any causes of stress in their lives and to talk openly about their mental health.

One of the main reasons for stress in the UK is stress caused by our job roles or workplace. BBC News recently reported on how to deal with stress at work, as this has become a major issue across the UK.

How to cope with stress at work | BBC News

When we talk about ‘stress awareness’, this means being aware of the effects of stress on our bodies and our minds.

Stress awareness is important, as prolonged feelings of stress can lead to further issues with mental health. Many people who often experience stress will go on to develop other mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

What are 5 symptoms of stress?

There are many common symptoms of stress and not everyone will experience stress in the same way. Mental symptoms include feeling overwhelmed or anxious, struggling to make decisions, and being forgetful or having difficulty concentrating.

Stress can affect our behaviour too, causing us to become irritable, sleep a lot or not enough, and avoid people or places that trigger stress. Some people turn to alcohol or nicotine when they are feeling stressed, as a form of stress release.

Physical symptoms like headaches, tense muscles, and stomach issues can also be triggered by stress.

How can I be stress aware?

One of the main ways to be ‘stress aware’ is to understand the potential causes of stress. The NHS has published a list of common reasons for feeling stressed which includes:

  • Worrying about work
  • Childhood experiences
  • Significant life changes (e.g. moving house or a new job)
  • Issues with money
  • Illnesses or injuries
  • Pregnancy
  • Raising children
  • Feeling lonely

If we can identify potential areas of stress in our lives, we can then address them. This could be something as simple as talking to your manager about your workload (if your stress is work-related). It can also be helpful to speak to a trusted friend or family member about how you are feeling, so that you don’t end up feeling isolated or overwhelmed.

Managing stress might seem too difficult or impossible depending on your situation. However, there are some simple and easy ways to manage your stress levels to help improve how you are feeling.

This short video is from the mental health charity Mind, and it explains more about how stress develops and their main tips for managing your stress levels.

Mind – Tips for Managing Stress

Based on tips from charities like Mind and healthcare organisations like the NHS, here are 5 Top Tips for managing stress:

  1. Try and work out what causes stress for you, so that you can avoid these triggers or be prepared for these situations in the future.                                                                                         
  2. Try not to do too many things at once and break tasks down into small and easy-to-manage steps
  3. Take some time for yourself and think about the positive things in your life. This can include making time for an existing hobby or even starting a new hobby that excites you.
  4. Talk to someone that you trust about how you feel. People are often more sympathetic than we imagine, and sharing your feelings can help you to feel less alone.
  5. Reach out for support from a charity, or healthcare organisation if things are getting too much. It can be helpful to talk to someone impartial and they may be able to offer additional resources, such as access to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

There won’t be one ‘best’ way to deal with stress, as what works for one person might not work for someone else. The main thing is to figure out what method works for you to relieve stress.

You should make sure to take care of your mind and body as much as you can, and to talk to others for support if you’re struggling with stressful situations.

If you’re struggling to deal with stress, it can be helpful to reach out and talk about how you are feeling. If you’d prefer to talk to someone impartial, many charities including Mind and Mental Health UK provide online resources and telephone helplines.

Mind

Mind is one of the UK's biggest and best known mental health charities and they work hard to empower and support anyone with mental health issues or questions. Mind help to provide various support services and many informative online guides and resources.

Mind has been established for over 60 years and has provided services to millions of people through over 1000+ local support services in England and Wales.

Contact details

Telephone0300 123 3393
Email
- info@mind.org.uk

Mental Health UK

Mental Health UK has been supporting the mental health of people across the UK for more than 50 years. They deliver services both locally and nationally to empower people with the information they need to take care of their mental wellbeing.

They work to combat and raise awareness of the root causes of mental health issues and give people the necessary resources to enhance their well-being in their home, academic, and professional environments.

There are 4 organisations that merged to form Mental Health UK which are Rethink Mental Illness (England), Adferiad (Wales), Change Mental Health (Scotland) and Mind Wise (Northern Ireland).

Contact details

Telephone (England) - 0121 522 7007
Telephone (Wales) - 01792 816 600/832 400
Telephone (Scotland) - 0131 662 4359
Telephone (Northern Ireland) - 0289 040 2323
Email - info@mentalhealth-uk.org

Can stress make you feel unwell?

Stress is known to have a physical impact on the body and can cause us to feel unwell. Many people who experience stress report feeling tired or nauseous, and we can experience digestive issues and chest pain in extreme cases.


What are the symptoms of coming down from stress?

It can take a while for our bodies to recover from the effects of chronic stress, and it may be days or months before we feel fully back to normal again. As we recover from stress, we can feel less irritable and more relaxed, and physical stress symptoms like headaches might stop.


What is the number one cause of stress in the UK?

The number one cause of stress in the UK is work-related stress. Most people in the UK will experience stress due to their job role at one point or another, and many people experience ongoing stress for weeks or months at a time.

If you are experiencing extreme stress due to your job role, it is important to reach out for support. This can include speaking to friends or family members for advice, or even talking to your manager or your company’s HR department.

YES – Stress generally isn’t thought of as a serious mental health condition by insurance companies, so you shouldn’t experience major problems when buying a policy. If you have experienced minor symptoms and don’t have any other medical conditions, it is usually quick and simple to get the cover that you need.

In some cases, stress can be linked to other conditions like depression or high blood pressure. If this applies to you, it can be helpful to get some expert advice about what policies will be available for you and how to find the best prices.

Most of us will experience a common mental health issue like stress at some point in our lives. This shouldn’t affect the life insurance options that are available for you, and policies can be both available and affordable with the help of a life insurance expert.

A stress life insurance expert will know which insurance companies will work best for your health and background. An expert advisor can use this information to make sure that you get the right price and level of cover.

Our experts also understand that applying for something like life insurance can feel stressful, especially if you have never applied for a policy before. This is why our experts always take the time to talk you through the process and will keep in touch at every stage.

If you need free and impartial life insurance advice, you can speak to our team on 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE.

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Can I get life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Yes, you will be able to get life insurance with almost any pre-existing medical condition, as long as it is not terminal. If traditional life insurance is not available due to the severity of your symptoms, then there are other guaranteed and specialist life insurance options, such as:

  • Accidental death
  • Over 50s life insurance
  • Guaranteed life insurance

Some of the most common examples of life insurance with pre-existing conditions are:

  • Overweight or High BMI life insurance
  • Diabetes life insurance (e.g. Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes)
  • Cancer life insurance
  • Heart attack or heart disease life insurance
  • Mental health life insurance
  • Multiple Sclerosis life insurance
  • Autoimmune disorders life insurance
  • HIV life insurance

There are literally thousands of types and variations of pre-exisiting medical conditions and so your situation is likely to be different to someone else. Life insurance with pre-existing conditions will take a number of elements in to account:

  • Severity and type of symptoms
  • Dates of diagnosis, episodes or attacks, and treatments
  • Any ongoing treatment and medications

Your life insurance premiums will be based on your own individual circumstances and how much cover you need. You should be able to adjust the levels of cover to suit your budget and it’s just as important to make sure that you at least have some cover in place.

What does Martin Lewis say about life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

MoneySavingExpert.com suggests that life insurance will ‘cost a lot more’ with a pre-existing medical condition. This is not true and it really does depend on your own individual circumstances so don’t be put off by this as they are not experts in this area.

It is true that some circumstances where the pre-existing medical condition is serious or severe, premiums can be higher to reflect the additional mortality risks. Ultimately, your life insurance premiums are unfortunately based on how likely you are to claim or if you have a higher chance of death within the policy term.

Martin Lewis doesn’t provide any real substance to his comment about pre-existing conditions life insurance and that’s not good enough. You should speak to a medical life insurance specialist to get a fully underwritten quote before you make any final decisions about whether or not you can afford to protect your family.

How much is life insurance with pre-existing conditions?

Most traditional life insurance providers will accept applications for people with pre-existing medical conditions. Often, you will have a number of potential options from several different insurance providers so you can usually save money as well by shopping around.

Historically you might have had less offers when you apply for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, but fortunately that is changing. Most of the more well-known high street life insurance brands are now offering more competitive rates and more flexible underwriting.

Top tips to save money on life insurance with pre-existing conditions:

  • Speak to pre-existing medical conditions specialist (these companies will understand the market better and should know which insurers will be cheapest for you)
  • Shop around and get different quotes (same as everything else, by shopping around you’ll get a better idea of what a good price is and what different companies offer)
  • Apply at the best time (timing can be important when applying for life insurance with pre-existing conditions, usually when symptoms are stable and not before or after treatment)

There are also other things to take into consideration, such as if you’re a smoker or if your weight is higher than normal. Can you do anything to improve your situation that might help to reduce your life insurance premiums.

Best life insurance for pre-existing conditions?

The best life insurance for pre-existing conditions will be different for each individual, based on their circumstances and the details of their health or medical history. There are certainly some insurance providers who are better for people with pre-existing medical conditions than others, such as:

  • The Exeter (better for people with more severe symptoms and serious health problems)
  • Legal & General (can sometimes be good for certain pre-existing medical conditions, especially mild to moderate symptoms)
  • Royal London (offers a number of specialist products and policies for certain pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes and mental health)
  • Scottish Widows (sometimes good for moderate medical conditions and offers flexible underwriting for certain conditions)
  • The Guardian (also offers flexible underwriting towards some pre-existing medical conditions)
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