‘What happens to our body when we are stressed’ poster or handout

We designed this poster for Stress Awareness Month in response to feedback to help with conversations about feelings and experiences to help children understand that they are not alone and that we can all feel stressed sometimes.

We know how important it is to help children understand what is happening in their bodies when they are feeling anxious or stressed.

Stress is our body’s response to pressure, the feelings of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure can be tough on children particularly when they don’t feel understood or have the language to explain how they are feeling. Also understanding that stress is a normal physical reaction and that we all deal with stress differently will help them cope and work through their feelings.

When we experience something stressful – unexpected, new, or when we feel we have little control over a situation or even something threatens our sense of self, our body produces stress hormones that trigger a fight or flight response. This response is the body’s natural physiological reaction to perceived danger, frightening or stressful events and it is an ingrained human survival instinct from our ancestors.

The stress response can be useful as it can help us push through fear or pain so we can run a race or do a test, for example. Stress hormones usually go back to normal quickly once the stressful event is over but it’s important also that children understand that too much stress can cause negative effects on our bodies. So working through stress, learning coping mechanisms, and dealing with issues are important for our mental and physical health.

Our poster with Luca and Faith has been designed for Stress Awareness month to help with conversations about feelings and experiences and to help children to know that they are not alone and we can all feel like this sometimes.

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