What Should I Do If Im Dealing With Extreme Stress
Sometimes the stressors in your life are very serious. Some examples of extremely stressful situations are: being in a serious accident being the victim of a crime or sexual abuse, or experiencing violence in your family life, including daily fighting, yelling, and hitting. These serious stressors can have lasting effects on the way your body and mind handle stress, and this can set you up for mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder .
Here are some resources for coping with extreme stress:
How Can I Help Myself
There are things that you can do to help reduce your symptoms of stress. This is also known as self-care. There isnt a set process for where you should start, or what you should do, everyone is different. You may need to try different things until you find what works for you.
If you dont know what is causing your stress, it might help to keep a stress diary for a few weeks. It may help you to identify things that you may be able to change.
You could write down when you feel stressed. You should include what happens just before or after you feel stressed.
It could also help you to identify things which can make you unwell. These things are known as triggers. Identifying your triggers can help you to have more control over your stress levels.
There is a template for a stress diary at the end of the factsheet, which you can download by clicking the link at the top of this page.
Get practical advice
You may be able to take steps to change the cause of your stress. There are lots of places you can get practical advice on different issues. An advice service may be a good place to start. They may be able to support you to solve an issue. For example, you may want advice on:
- money or
You can find details of different organisations that give practical advice in the Useful contacts section at the bottom of this page.
Manage your money
Money can cause many different issues such as poverty, debt and relationship problems.
Plan your time
The Difference Between Stress And Burnout
Burnout may be the result of unrelenting stress, but it isnt the same as too much stress. Stress, by and large, involves too much: too many pressures that demand too much of you physically and mentally. However, stressed people can still imagine that if they can just get everything under control, theyll feel better.
Burnout, on the other hand, is about not enough. Being burned out means feeling empty and mentally exhausted, devoid of motivation, and beyond caring. People experiencing burnout often dont see any hope of positive change in their situations. If excessive stress feels like youre drowning in responsibilities, burnout is a sense of being all dried up. And while youre usually aware of being under a lot of stress, you dont always notice burnout when it happens.
|Stress vs. Burnout|
|May make life seem not worth living.|
Don’t Miss: How To Lower Stress At Work
Stress And Your Health
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous.
Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.
Keep Perfectionism In Check
Being a high achiever might make you feel good about yourself and help you excel at work, but being a perfectionist can create problems for you .
You might not be able to do everything perfectly, every timeespecially in a busy, fast-paced job. A good strategy to avoid the perfectionism trap is always striving to just do your best and making time to congratulate yourself on your efforts. You may find that your results are better and youll be much less stressed at work.
Also Check: How To Handle Extreme Stress
Emotional Signs And Symptoms Of Burnout
- Sense of failure and self-doubt.
- Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated.
- Detachment, feeling alone in the world.
- Loss of motivation.
- Increasingly cynical and negative outlook.
Stress And How To Lower It
Posted under Health Guides. Updated 24 June 2019.
- Some stress is okay if it motivates you to get things done.
- Too much stress can lead to health problems such as depression, and sleep problems.
- Try stress-lowering activities such as yoga or writing in a journal.
You know when youre stressed out your body feels tired and your thoughts are spinning. It can also help to know why your body reacts that way, and what you can do about it. Our bodies are designed to handle calm situations, and also exciting or dangerous ones. When youre in the middle of something scary or challenging, your body gets into a mode thats better for handling the situation. This is a state of high energy and sharp senses, such as the way you feel when youre playing a fun sport or doing really well on a test. However, when the situation turns into more than you can handle, thats when you start to feel the effects of stress. Its as if your body is shouting Do something!, and your brain is shouting back I dont know what to do!
Read Also: Am I Under Stress Test
Tip : Practice The 4 As Of Stress Management
While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times: your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, its helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
Youre Having Trouble Concentrating
When youre too overwhelmed to focus on whats in front of you, it could be a sign youre overworked. Research has connected long-term exposure to excess amounts of cortisol to shrinking of the hippocampus, the brains memory center, says Tuit. Studies have shown that long-term stress stimulates growth of the proteins that might cause Alzheimers disease.
What to do: If you find that youre experiencing this during the workday, taking a few long inhales and exhales can help. Deep, even breathing not only affects whether or not our thoughts control us or we control them. It also affects the bodily sensations that are experienced when faced with a high-stress situation, says Tuit. This type of breathing can help control the heart rate and blood flow, as well as muscle tension, she says.
RELATED: 3 Guided Meditations for Productivity, Sleep and Cravings
Recommended Reading: How Much Can Stress Raise Blood Sugar
Breathing And Relaxation Exercises
Many people find exercises that focus on breathing and muscle relaxation to be helpful in relieving stress. The playlist below will help you to understand how stress works and start feeling better. These exercises can be done anywhere and are designed to help you feel more relaxed in general, as well as helping you feel calmer if you are becoming stressed.
This playlist is free to download, and you can also stream it using the Soundcloud website or app. You can download and listen to individual tracks if there are particular exercises that work best for you. If you’re listening to it for the first time, it’s best to start from the beginning.
To access a BSL version of this playlist, .
Find out more by checking out these 10 stress busters.
Coping With Stress At Work
Working hard should not be confused with overworking at the expense of relationships and physical health.
Coping with stress at work.
Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelmingand harmful to both physical and emotional health.
Unfortunately, such long-term stress is all too common. In fact, has consistently found that work is cited as a significant source of stress by a majority of Americans. You cant always avoid the tensions that occur on the job. Yet you can take steps to manage work-related stress.
Also Check: What Is In Young Living Stress Away
Simple Ways To Deal With Stress At Work
Research has indicated that the percentage of Americans who are stressed at work is highand its only getting higher. According to a survey of more than 2,000 full-time U.S. employees, ages 18-79, more than half of employees find themselves stressed during at least 60 percent of the workweek.
Work stress has significant health consequences that range from relatively benign to potentially serious .
While stress at work is common, finding a low-stress job is hard . A more realistic approach is to adopt effective coping strategies to reduce stress at your current job. Here are some stress management techniques you can try if you are finding it hard to cope with work stress
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
Read Also: What Essential Oils Help With Stress And Anxiety
You Resort To Coping Mechanisms
After a hard days work, you might want to just go home and grab a bottle of beer from the fridge while you catch up on some TV. While theres nothing wrong with having a drink or two after youve come home and relaxed for a while, theres definitely a problem with drinking in order to relax. Chances are youll wake up the next morning with an even higher level of stress than you went to bed with. If you find youre relying on drugs or alcohol more and more in order to alleviate stress, you should seek help immediately.
If you make your own coffee in the morning, chances are youre only making the same boring kind everyday. Now its time to put an end to the cynical habit and turn you into an instant coffee connoisseur.
For those who dont know, there are officially 38 different ways to make coffee. All, except decaffeinated versions will give you the same buzz that can either make you extremely productive or give you anxiety.
The only difference here is taste. And when it comes to coffee, taste matters. A lot.
Most of the methods and ingredients from the chart above dates back hundreds of years and have been traditionally passed down from generation to generation. Hence, its actually possible to tell where a person came from based on the type of coffee he or she drinks!
You Have A Constant Headache That Just Wont Go Away
If you experience throbbing or feel pressure anywhere on the head or temple area, theres a good chance its a tension or stress headache, says Dr. Colgan. Oftentimes people point to particular troubles in their life that might be causing this pain, but lifestyle might be to blame instead. Keep in mind, if your head pain feels like a migraine headache, the worst headache of your life, or a headache that wakens you from sleep, those are signs of a dangerous health problem. You should visit a doctor immediately, advises Dr. Colgan.
What to do: When stress is the cause of your headache, the easiest thing to say is, have less stress in your life. But that advice itself is stressful, says Dr. Colgan. Knowing what your headaches coming from is helpful therapy. People oftentimes feel worse worrying and trying to figure out what the cause could be. So knowing its not some serious health problem may make a person feel better. Sometimes the most effective way a doctor can treat a patient is to teach them about their symptoms, says Dr. Colgan.
Don’t Miss: How To Know If I M Stressed
What Happens To My Body When I Experience Stress
People react differently to stress. Some common symptoms of stress include sleeping problems, sweating or a change in appetite.6,7
Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in your body which, when released, allow you to deal with pressures or threats. This is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response.
Hormones called adrenaline and noradrenaline raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and increase the rate at which you perspire. This prepares your body for an emergency response.8 These hormones can also reduce blood flow to your skin and reduce your stomach activity. Cortisol, another stress hormone, releases fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy.9
As a result, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion and dizziness. You may also breathe more quickly, have palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. In the long-term, you may be putting yourself at risk from heart attacks and stroke.10
Ii Constant Overload Of Work
Employees suffer from work overload when their tasks exceed their capacity. Constant work overload could force them to work for longer hours, and it could even spill over to the weekends. This could eventually keep them from attaining a healthy work-life balance.
When the resources cannot spare time for themselves or their loved ones to rejuvenate and relax, it impacts their work-life balance, alleviating their stress. Moreover, the constant work pressure could also prevent them from taking short breaks that would help them recharge and work with renewed vigor.
Also Check: How To Clear Up Stress Acne
Spend Time With Friends And Family
Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times.
Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times.
One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is called tend and befriend, and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response .
Keep in mind that both men and women benefit from friendship.
Another study found that men and women with the fewest social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety .
Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.
Its hard to feel anxious when youre laughing. Its good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress:
- Relieving your stress response.
- Relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.
In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.
A study among people with cancer found that people in the laughter intervention group experienced more stress relief than those who were simply distracted (
Try watching a funny TV show or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.
Find the humor in everyday life, spend time with funny friends or watch a comedy show to help relieve stress.
Not all stressors are within your control, but some are.
One way to do this may be to say no more often.
Ideas To Consider When Talking With A Professional
List the things which cause stress and tension in your life.
How does this stress and tension affect you, your family and your job?
Can you identify the stress and tensions in your life as short or long term?
Do you have a support system of friends/family that will help you make positive changes?
What are your biggest obstacles to reducing stress?
What are you willing to change or give up for a less stressful and tension-filled life?
What have you tried already that didnt work for you?
500 Montgomery Street,
Read Also: Can Stress Cause Arthritis Flare Up
What Are The Effects Of Stress
A certain amount of stress is okay if it helps to motivate you to deal with a short term problem. For example if youre stressed about writing a paper for school, and your stress causes you to ask your teacher for advice, and you finish the paper, then your stress has done its job.
In the short term, stress can:
- Help you focus on a situation or solve a problem
- Tire you out
- Make you nervous or irritable
On the other hand, if youre experiencing a lot of stress day after day, your body may start sending you warning signs that somethings really wrong. This kind of chronic stress can take a physical and mental toll on your body and mind.
Long term stress can put you at risk for health problems such as:
- Substance abuse
- Obesity and other eating problems
- Digestive problems
- Lower immunity to colds and other illnesses
These chronic problems are really your bodys way of telling you Hey! Im under way too much stress somethings got to change!
If you notice that you feel stressed just about every day, you should take some steps to lessen the number of stressors in your life, and try some techniques that will help you de-stress.