A person with mid length hair and wearing a blue top, their head is surrounded by a green cloud and purple and black zig zags, suggesting they're stressed

We commonly use the word ‘stress’ to mean the feeling of pressure we can experience when problems or demands start to feel too much.

A moderate level of stress can be helpful in situations where we need to perform well such as working to a deadline or competing in a competition. It can help us feel alert and motivated. When the level of stress starts to feel overwhelming, however, it can have a negative impact on our physical and emotional wellbeing.

This section can help you understand how stress might be affecting you and find ways of reducing the pressure.

The Stress bucket

Watch this animation of the ‘Stress bucket’ – the water being poured into the bucket represents stress. Too much stress and the bucket fills up and overflows. If we can make some holes in the bucket however, by finding helpful ways of coping, we can release some of the stress from building up.

Read the transcript of The stress bucket animation