English expressions and idioms for talking about stress

Stress is something we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives. Although high levels of stress can be damaging, in small amounts, it can give us the excitement and inspiration we need to complete our projects. Here’s how to talk about stress in English with some useful idioms and expressions.

You can talk about the feeling of being stressed by saying you are stressed out or wound up. These are both quite informal expressions so if you want to be more formal, you can say you are under a lot of pressure/stress.

The next step is to talk about the reasons for your stress. You could say that your job, for example, stresses you out or drives you crazy. In these informal expressions, we put  the reason for the stress at the beginning of the sentence.

Work, usually too much of it, is a common cause of stress. When we have too much work to do, we can say we are snowed under or up to our ears in work. If you feel like you are doing too much work, you can say you are overworked and if you stay late after work, you can say you are doing/working overtime.

If you are feeling too stressed, you might need to relieve your stress by going somewhere to relax, de-stress, or wind down. All these expressions mean the same thing. Once you are relaxed, you can say that you feel de-stressed or calm.

So, how about you? What makes you stressed and what do you do to relax again?