What Are The Signs Of Stress
You can learn to notice the signs in your body that indicate stress is becoming a problem. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and save you from adopting unhealthy methods such as drinking or smoking.
Signs that you may be stressed include:
- muscle tension and headaches
- poor sleep or sleeping too much
- being irritable or moody
- not being able to concentrate
- relying on alcohol or drugs to cope
- feeling overwhelmed or anxious or like you can’t cope
Healthy Ways To Express Anger
What about the healthy ways to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.
Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.
Dont say youre mad at something someone did or said when its really something else that upset you.
Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.
Dont talk around something that is making you angry. Dont say that one thing is making you angry when its really something else, and dont stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.
Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.
When something makes you angry, its much better to express it in a timely manner. Dont keep it bottled up inside of you, as thats only going to do more harm than good.
Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.
Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.
Prepare Ahead Of Time As Much As Possible
The most stressful time of the day for workers is the morning, or when they start their shift.
You canât always prepare everything ahead of time. If someone leaves a mess when you arrive for your shift, thereâs not much you can do about it other than try to work with them and get them to do better.
But, wherever possible, prep ahead of time. Think of it like this: how you start your work day sets the tone for the rest of it. If you start it in a panic, a rush, the whole day is going to be stressful. Itâll feel as if you never get caught up or on good footing.
Preparing ahead of time might be:
- Setting up tools or products that youâll need to use.
- Mentally considering challenges youâll face and how youâll diffuse them.
- Exercising, or physically preparing yourself for the work you need to do to avoid physical injury or tiredness.
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Accept Help From Family And Friends Or A Trusted Source For Counseling Or Therapy
You are not the only person to ever falter in your goals, and you wont be the last. In our failure, we sometimes learn more about ourselves than when everything is going along swimmingly. Stressful times are not easy to carry alone, and its okay to ask for help.
If you need another person to have a look at your project, or get a second opinion, or if you need to brainstorm a new plan of action, do so. You can seek out friends or family members that you get along with or find a therapist that can offer you a discreet, safe place to air your grievances or reflect on your choices, attitudes, or beliefs and in turn can provide you with professional feedback, clarity and encouragement. Taking the time to build your personal support system, outside of your work life or educational pursuits, is very important in changing the way you deal with stress.
We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, its important to learn how to deal with anger.
Lets take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.
Stay Off Of Social Media As Much As Possible During Work
Constant connection and the interruption of technology can increase your stress levels.
Social media, for example, can make you aware of stressful events happening to other people or in other places. They might not have any bearing on your life, but you allow yourself to feel stressed about them anyway. Itâs called the cost of caring.
As an interruption, social media and text messages can also add to stress. University of California Irvine found that employees who received a lot of emails were more stressed. They stayed in a âhigh alertâ mode all the time. Being constantly connected and going back and forth in response on social media or via text messages does the same thing. Additionally, it distracts you and slows you down and you end up feeling stress as you rush to catch up with the work you didnât do because you were busy on your phone.
Stay off social media and mobile devices as much as possible when on the job. The last thing you need is drama via social media or text messaging while youâre trying to get your work done.
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Create A Mindful Revolution In Your Own Life
Practicing yoga, exercising, playing a favorite sport, eating a nourishing meal, attending a religious ceremony, chanting, meditating, paying attention to your breathing, reading a beloved book, writing your thoughts in a journal, listening to calming music, painting, and finding a quiet, safe, cozy place to relax are all ways of creating mindfulness. Mindfulness will change the way you deal with stress.
Imagining your life without nagging stressors is another powerful way of refocusing yourself. Be mindful of how you are reacting to stress. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinns Mindfullness-Based Stress Reduction or MBSR is a trusted method in learning more about ways of coping with stress and chronic illness. The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California-San Francisco offers a weekly guided course in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. The University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester also offers a MBSR study group for stress management. There are MBSR courses all over the world, offered both online, one-on-one or in groups. You can find one that suits you best here. If you prefer to do some therapeutic work on your own, try the Mindfullness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook.
Having Open Conversations About Mental Health
If youre feeling limited as a parent due to your mental health condition or parenting a child whos a received diagnosis, a candid talk could be just whats needed to relieve the tension.
Speaking openly about mental illness can help prevent your child from internalizing some of your behavior. This talk could also help your child feel validated if they live with a mental health condition.
An ongoing, nonjudgmental conversation does wonders for diffusing built-up stress and promoting a sense of calm.
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Government Of Canada’s Role
The Government of Canada works to help Canadians maintain and improve their mental health, including coping with stress. Within its jurisdiction, the Government of Canada works to:
- generate and disseminate knowledge, and support both knowledge generation and dissemination activities undertaken by other organizations
- strengthen the capacity of the primary health care, home care and acute care sectors to effectively deliver mental health programs and services
- provide leadership and governance
- develop social marketing campaigns
- conduct surveillance on health trends in the population
- In 2007, the federal government provided funding to establish and support a Mental Health Commission to lead the development of a national mental health strategy.
Start Your Day Off Right
After scrambling to get the kids fed and off to school, dodging traffic and combating road rage, and gulping down coffee in lieu of a healthy breakfast, many people arrive to work already stressed. This makes them more reactive to stress in the workplace.
You might be surprised by how affected by workplace stress you are when you have a stressful morning. When you start off the day with planning, good nutrition, and a positive attitude, you might find that the stress of your job rolls off your back more easily.
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The Perception Of Stress
While we know that stress is associated with health problems, plenty of people with high-stress lives are thriving. How is that possible? In 2012, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison published a seminal study looking at how 28,000 people perceived stress in their lives. People in the study answered these two questions:
The researchers looked at death rates in the study group over nine years. The results are startling. The study found that having a lot of stress in your life was not linked with premature death. But having a lot of stress in your life and believing it was taking a toll on your health increased risk of premature death by 43 percent.
Tips For Giving The Best Answer
Show the employer how you manage stress. That way, the interviewer can build up a clear picture of how well you adapt to stressful situations. For example, describe a time when you were given a difficult task or multiple assignments and how you rose to the occasion.
Focus on success. When you respond, share examples of how you succeeded despite being in a stressful situation, or of how you problem-solved to resolve the issue that caused stress.
When its a stressful job. Some jobs are stressful by nature. If youre applying for a high-stress job, be sure to let the interviewer know that youre used to working under stress and that its part of your normal routine.
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The Importance Of Managing Stress
If youre living with high levels of stress, youre putting your entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. It may seem like theres nothing you can do about stress. The bills wont stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think.
Effective stress management helps you break the hold stress has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and funand the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. But stress management is not one-size-fits-all. Thats why its important to experiment and find out what works best for you. The following stress management tips can help you do that.
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Positive Ways To Deal With Stress
It is important to note that what creates a stressful situation in one person may not affect another. On the same breath, nothing should be taken for granted. Stress does not just happen. It builds up from seemingly inconsequential things.
Over time, small things become big, harmless indulgences become life-threatening diseases and trivial matters become serious. Learning how to prevent stress before it happens is much easier than trying to treat it after its already begun. The first step is to prevent potential stressors from metamorphosing into dreadful stresses. Effective stress management demands that you become vigilant and aware of your lifestyle.
Here are six positive ways to deal with stress:
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What Not To Say
Dont mention an issue you created. Avoid mentioning a time when you put yourself in a needlessly stressful situation. You don’t want to come across as someone who causes workplace stress.
Dont say that you were really stressed. You shouldnt focus too much on how stressed out you felt. While you should certainly admit that stress happens, try to emphasize how you dealt with the stress rather than how much it bothered you.
Dont Just React To Your Stress But Take A Moment To Authentically Respond To It
Some stressful events in life can trigger you to react without much thought, or simply react out of fear or confusion. In these stressful times, our fight or flight response gets activated.
To authentically respond to stress, you need to check in with how you are feeling, what is cropping up for you, and how you can manage this new stress in your life. Sometimes our reaction only increases the stress and we get stuck in a reactive loop, filled with negativity and self-abuse.
We may not be able to control the situation, but we can develop control of ourselves and change the way we deal with stress. You dont need to hurl insults, go on a cursing tirade or throw things and have an all out temper tantrum when stress appears, but you can state what you think and feel. The way you choose to authentically respond may change according to your surroundings, whether in the workplace, with your spouse or children, or other family members, or casual friends. Remember that hurting others in the process is not an effective way to heal yourself.
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How To Handle Stress At Work
- Luana Marques, PhD, Contributor
If youre currently working, you probably know what it feels like to be stressed on the job. A must-do project arrives without warning. Three emails stack up for each one you delete. Phones ring, meetings are scheduled, a coworker drops the ball on a shared assignment.
Take The Breaks You Are Given
Take your allotted breaks.
If thereâs a park or bit of nature nearby, go there. If your work environment is stressing you out, try to change your environment, either by going someplace else or by reading to get your mind in a different place.
You need a break, especially if youâre stressed. If management makes it difficult to take a break, press the issue. You have a legal right to breaks.
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Change Stressors When You Can
Some stress is unavoidable and the best you can do is to manage it. Some things are within your control. For example, if you know that grocery shopping on Sunday evening stresses you out because the lines are always long and everyones picked through the best produce before you get there, change your schedule and shop on another night.
Changing simple things in your life can add up and greatly reduce your overall stress.
Remember To Seek Help And Support When You Need It
Remember, that it is okay to ask for professional help. If you feel that you are struggling to manage on your own, then you can reach out. It is important to know that you can get help as soon as possible, and that you deserve to get better.
The first person to approach is your family doctor. He or she should be able to give advice about treatment, and may refer you to another local professional. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness based approaches are known to help reduce stress. There are also a number of voluntary organisations which can help you to tackle the causes of stress and advise you about ways to get better.
Anxiety UK runs a helpline staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety from 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday. Call 08444 775 774.
Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice for a range of problems as well as providing information on your rights and responsibilities.
StepChange provides help and information for people dealing with a range of debt problems. Freephone 0800 138 1111.
Mind provides information on a range of mental health topics to support people in their own area from 9.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Call 0300 123 3393 or email .
Rethink Advice and Information Service
Rethink provide specific solution-based guidance – 0300 5000927 Fax: 020 7820 1149 email .
Specialist mental health services
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What Can Prolonged Stress Lead To
Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.
We mentioned earlier on that a moderate amount of stress can help us perform better in challenging situations,34 but too much or prolonged stress can lead to physical problems. This can include lower immunity levels,35 digestive and intestinal difficulties, e.g. irritable bowel syndrome ,36 or mental health problems such as depression.3 This means it is important to manage your stress and keep it at a healthy level to prevent long-term damage to your body and mind.
How Can I Manage My Stress
Use your strengths and skills to make a positive plan to address the stressful events in your life and how youre reacting to stress.
Whether your stress is internal or external, relaxation techniques can help you manage stress and boost your ability to cope. There are many different techniques, and its important you find the ones you connect with. Examples include slow breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and exercise.
Read more here on relaxation techniques for stress relief.
A friend or family member can also be a great source of support, but at times you may feel that you need help from a professional. Consider talking with a counsellor, psychologist or social worker to work with you to identify the source of your stress and build strategies to better manage it.
Psychologists and other therapists use a range of approaches to help manage stress and anxiety. One evidence-based approach is a technique known as cognitive behavior therapy which is based on the idea that how you think and act affects how you feel.
Watch this video from This Way Up about ways to cope during stressful or difficult times.
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