Signs of Stress
Stress can be defined as the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable.
What is stress?
At the most basic level, stress is our body’s response to pressures from a situation or life event. What contributes to stress can vary hugely from person to person and differs according to our social and economic circumstances, the environment we live in and our genetic makeup. Some common features of things that can make us feel stress include experiencing something new or unexpected, something that threatens your feeling of self, or feeling you have little control over a situation.
Having a little bit of stress in life can be manageable. Sometimes it may even be beneficial. If it occurs too often, then it can also start wearing you down physically and mentally.
There are several ways that you can start to manage the stressful events that occur in your life. Before that becomes a possibility, it is essential that you know what the symptoms of stress are so that you can recognise when they occur.
What are the signs of stress?
When you feel stressed, you may experience many different feelings, including anxiety, fear, anger, sadness or frustration. These feelings can sometimes feed on each other and produce physical symptoms.
Work-related stress can also have negative impacts on mental health. Work-related stress accounts for an average of 23.9 days of work lost for every person affected.
When you feel stressed, you may behave differently. For example, you may become withdrawn, indecisive or inflexible. You may not be able to sleep properly or become irritable or tearful. Stress can make you feel angrier or more aggressive than normal. Stress can also affect the way we interact with our friends or family.
When stressed, some people can start to experience headaches, nausea and indigestion. You may breathe and perspire more, have palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. You will quickly return to normal without any negative effects if what is stressing you is short-lived, and many people are able to deal with a certain level of stress without any lasting adverse effects.
Who is affected by stress?
All of us can recognise at least some of the feelings described above and may have felt stressed and overwhelmed at some time or another. Some people seem to be more affected by stress than others.
For some people, getting out of the door on time each morning can be a very stressful experience. Whereas others may be able to cope with a great deal of pressure.
How can you help yourself?
There are some actions that you can take as an individual to manage the immediate, sometimes unpleasant, signs of stress and identify, reduce and remove stressful factors that may cause you to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. If you feel comfortable, talking to a friend or close colleague at work about your feelings can help you manage your stress.
Below are five tips to help you help yourself.
If you continue to feel overwhelmed by stress, seeking professional help can support you in managing effectively. Do not be afraid to seek professional help if you feel that you are no longer able to manage things on your own.