Learn To Recognise The Signs That You Are Becoming Stressed
There are a wide range of possible signs and symptoms that may be associated with stress. These include headaches, stomach upsets and indigestion, and sleep problems. Many people also find they become very emotional and have trouble regulating their emotions.
Unfortunately, most of these signs are fairly non-specific: that is, they may be associated with many different illnesses and conditions. It can therefore be hard to identify when your symptoms are the result of stress. You should always consult a doctor if these symptoms last any length of time.
It is a good idea to learn to recognise the signs that you are becoming stressed, so that you can take action early on.
There is more about this in our page on What is Stress?
Helpful Things To Say To Someone Experiencing Stress
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We all experience moments of stress from time to time. From experiencing the loss of a close loved one to daily work dress, these things are a normal part of life. When we experience stress, our mind feels like its in overdrive. Anxiety pushes us to the edge, and these thoughts can feel like they have a huge effect on our overall mental health.
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If youve ever been in a stressful situation, you know how frustrating it is. You also know how difficult it is to hear people tell you to calm down or get over it. If youre in the presence of someone who is stressed, its important to help in a supportive way.
Even small acknowledgments of their feelings go a long way. Here are 16 helpful things to say to someone experiencing stress in one way or another.
Hint: Sometimes the right thing to say is nothing at all! Dont underestimate the power of silence.
The Symptom: Dryness & Sensitivity
When peace of mind goes MIA, so does your skins moisture content. Stress stalls its natural production of complexion hydrators like hyaluronic acid. A second reason your skin looks and feels parched: Inflammatory norepinephrine and cytokines disrupt skin-barrier function, says Tausk, resulting in dryness, inflammation, and irritation. There are a lot of people who, when theyre not stressed, can tolerate a lot of products, notes Wechsler. When they get stressed, though, they can get an itchy rash.
The Solution: Baby the Barrier
To return your protective skin barrier to peak functionality, ditch anything that could be remotely irritating or drying, including toners and exfoliators, says Wechsler. Then switch your skincare lineup to fragrance-free and hypoallergenic formulas that are packed with replenishing moisturizers. Chanel Solution 10, a moisturizer Wechsler codeveloped to address sensitivity often spurred by stress, combines hydration-boosting glycerin, restorative shea butter, and a unique silver-needle-tree extract that helps stave off irritants.
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Minimize Your Daily Choices
Have you ever walked into a theme park and been overwhelmed at what you want to do first? Researchers think that having too many choices can actually cause significant stress that can lead to depression.
Psychologist Barry Schwartz, author of the book The Paradox of Choice, describes research that shows that when faced with too many choices, those who aim to make the best possible choice maximizers face higher rates of depression.
For many of us, our lives are filled with choices. Which outfit do we wear, and should we buy yogurt or eggs or bagels or English muffins or sausage for breakfast? The pressure of making the right or wrong choice is thought to contribute to depression.
If making choices stresses you out, simplify things. You can:
- Learn to be decisive more quickly.
- Reduce the decisions youll have to make during the work week: Plan out your outfits, and have your meals prepped and ready to go.
Managing Stress In Daily Life
Stress is not an illness itself, but it can cause serious illness if it isn’t addressed. It’s important to recognise the symptoms of stress early. Recognising the signs and symptoms of stress will help you figure out ways of coping and save you from adopting unhealthy coping methods, such as drinking or smoking.
There is little you can do to prevent stress, but there are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques.
Studies have found that mindfulness courses, where participants are taught simple meditations across a series of weeks, can also help to reduce stress and improve mood.
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Talk About Your Problems
If things are bothering you, talking about them can help lower your stress. You can talk to family members, friends, a trusted clergyman, your doctor, or a therapist.
And you can also talk to yourself. Itâs called self-talk and we all do it. But in order for self-talk to help reduce stress you need to make sure itâs positive and not negative.
So listen closely to what youâre thinking or saying when youâre stressed out. If youâre giving yourself a negative message, change it to a positive one. For example, donât tell yourself âI canât do this.â Tell yourself instead: âI can do this,â or âIâm doing the best I can.â
Procrastination As A Contributing Factor
Heres the thing about procrastination: The negative emotions you associate with a given task dont go away when you avoid that task. They feed on themselves and grow, rapidly.
Say you put off creating a work presentation. You want to impress your boss, but youre worried about meeting their high standards.
Of course, the more you delay, the less time you have to do the work. As the deadline approaches, you dont just doubt your ability to create a successful presentation. You also feel overwhelmed about the amount of work involved, and youre stressed at the thought of not getting it done in time.
You know youve created a sticky situation for yourself, but you care more about the peace of mind that avoiding the project provides. Its this fleeting peace that generally reinforces the procrastination loop.
Ask yourself: Do you actually feel calm? Probably not. Youve likely noticed an undercurrent of anxiety rippling through your waking thoughts.
And therein lies the rub. Procrastination creates a cycle thats difficult to escape, because the temporary reward of putting something off reinforces your desire to do it again even though it creates more problems.
A procrastination habit can eventually complicate the emotional concerns that triggered it in the first place.
Over time, procrastination and the loop it tends to create can lead to:
These strategies can help you break the procrastination cycle even when its an ingrained habit.
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What To Say To Someone Whos Stressed About Family
Family troubles come in all shapes and sizes. They might have a disagreement with their partner or a complicated situation with their siblings. No matter the situation, diffuse their anxiety with some words of kindness.
9. Be gentle with yourself. Youre doing your best.
Family issues can quickly grow out of control, and sometimes we cant handle them on our own. Let your loved one know theyve done the best they could, and that they dont need to handle everything themselves.
10. Focus on your own progress, not perfection.
Family life isnt perfect. Even if things dont go according to plan, we can make the most of where we are in our journey by focusing on the smaller steps along the way.
11. You dont have to answer for other peoples mistakes.
When things go wrong, how do we avoid placing blame on ourselves? Let your loved one know that they dont have to be accountable for the choices of others.
12. Lets think of a plan for what to do next.
It helps to have an idea of how well move forward. A lot of our anxiety comes from not knowing whats happening. Thinking creatively about how to make a positive change is a great way to help.
Get Into The Right Frame Of Mind
“We can control our responses to circumstances, even when the circumstances themselves are beyond our control,” Scott writes. “In doing so, we can greatly lessen our negative experience of stress.”
It’s all about having a positive attitude. For example, it’s better to avoid the all-or-nothing mindset: Rather than say, “This is the worst day ever,” say, “Today was a bad day,” she advises.
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Communicate How You Feel
While many people ask themselves how to deal with a stressful job, one of the best solutions is to pose the question to a friend, or better yet, a professional therapist or career coach who can help you work through feelings of anxiety.
A lot of new employees may feel apprehensive about talking about their feelings or asking for help, but communicating honestly is one of the best things you can do to make your work experience healthy and fruitful. Some people may only experience an acute bout of anxiety with their new role, but other people struggle with chronic anxiety.
Setting up an appointment with a therapist can help those struggling with anxiety disorders as well as other mental health issues that can make a new career seem overwhelming and draining. It can also help to bring grievances and concerns to the attention of your boss, co-workers, friends, or family. Keeping problems inside can only exacerbate issues long term, so it’s best to maintain a degree of transparency and openly communicate your worries to those who are willing to listen and help. Honesty is always valued in a work environment.
Ways To Stop Being So Stressed All The Time
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Sometimes the world is just too much. You feel like youre just keeping it together, your commitments and deadlines are hanging by a thread, and your mental health is falling by the wayside. You feel like your brain has holes in it youve got headaches, nausea, and tight shoulders you cant ease and breathing deeply makes you feel like youre on the verge of tears.
This is normal, but it shouldnt have to be. Stress is an important part of our livesin healthy doses it can be a good motivator, and keep us reaching for our goals. Past a certain threshold, however, chronic stress ages us, makes us more prone to falling ill, increases our chances of gaining unhealthy weight, and, of course, simply makes us feel like were falling apart. So, what steps can we all take to gain control over the stuff thats stressing us out?
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Blessed To Be Stressed
Less Blessed, More Stressed
The past 18 months will be remembered by some as a period when there wasnt much you couldnt refinance. Stressed names aplenty came, saw, and conquered a financing market that was deeply forgiving of shortcomings in company fundamentals, relying on ambitious pre-Covid or heavily adjusted earnings to market bond refinancings.
But as the year drew to a close, the repricing of riskier names in October/November seen through a 50-75bps widening from September tights in Single-Bs, and a couple of failed refinancing attempts provides some anecdotal evidence that sentiment may be shifting. Some names may have missed out, and now find themselves in a slightly more precarious position than the 2021 crop with less favourable financing conditions.
Last July, we published our inaugural Blessed to be Stressed report, looking at issuers who we thought could have followed the likes of Aston Martin, Pure Gym and Boparan that completed unlikely refinancings of impending maturities.
Following our McLaren preview who subsequently got their stressed refi over the line in July we turned our attention to Lowen Play, Haya Real Estate, Raffinerie Heide and Matalan. Lowen has already announced a restructuring plan, and Haya appears to be destined for a similar outcome, so we have removed these two from the updated report.
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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Coping With Stress And Anxiety
Learning what causes or triggers your stress and what coping techniques work for you can help reduce your anxiety and improve your daily life. It may take trial and error to discover what works best for you. Here are some activities you can try when you start to feel overwhelmed:
- Keep a journal.
- Exercise, and make sure you are eating healthy, regular meals.
- Stick to a sleep routine, and make sure you are getting enough sleep.
- Avoid drinking excess caffeine such as soft drinks or coffee.
- Identify and challenge your negative and unhelpful thoughts.
- Reach out to your friends or family members who help you cope in a positive way.
Take Care Of Your Body
Living a healthy lifestyle is critical for both your physical and mental health. Maintaining healthy eating, exercise, and sleep habits makes a huge difference.
Even small improvements to your diet, workout routine, or sleep schedule can make a big difference, Scott writes, in the sense that habits work off of each other and “one change makes all the other changes come more easily.”
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Does Stress Causes Hunger
You have both physical and psychological relationships with food. Your physical relationship with food is based on the types of foods you choose to eat, your eating behavior, or habits and how your body responds biologically to your diet. Your psychological, or emotional, relationship with food is based on how you think about food, how you use food for reasons other than to relieve hunger, and how food relates your body image, or the way you feel about how you look.
Sometimes you eat to satisfy true hunger, to fulfill a physical need to eat and survive. At other times, such as when you stress-eat, you eat to satisfy your appetite, or your desire for a particular type of food, because you believe it will provide relief. Thats a psychological, or emotional, need that generally has nothing to do with actual hunger. Emotional hunger is a driving response to overwhelming feelings and emotions.
Of course, if youre hungry and stressed at the same time, you may well be eating to satisfy true hunger, adds Allison. But, at the same time, you may choose fast food or a sweet dessert over something more nutritious because, at that moment, youre not trying to eat healthfully.
Listen To Your Inner Voice
Sometimes we feel off because of something a little more subtle or pervasive. Take a few minutes out of your day to breathe deeply and take a look inwardis this really what you want to be doing ? Are you doing this for you, or for someone else? Is what youre doing making you intrinsically happy?
One of the biggest variables in the equation for essential happiness is purpose. Often we can get so caught up in simply getting by that we forget to nourish the parts of our lives that truly make us happy, whether thats simply picking up a hobby thats laid neglected for too long or making a big change like applying for a new job. We need things to look forward to and work towards that really mean something to us.
Take a listen to what your inner voice is telling you that you love and try to chase that, in big or small waysgood stress may follow, but negative stress will start to fall away.
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How Can I Identify The Signs Of Stress
Everyone experiences stress. However, when it is affecting your life, health and wellbeing, it is important to tackle it as soon as possible, and while stress affects everyone differently, there are common signs and symptoms you can look out for:15
- feelings of constant worry or anxiety
- feelings of being overwhelmed
7. Dont be too hard on yourself
- Try to keep things in perspective.
- Remember that having a bad day is a universal human experience
- When your inner critic or an outer critic finds faults, try and find truth and exception to what is being said
- If you stumble or feel you have failed, dont beat yourself up
- Act as if you were your own best friend: be kind and supportive
- Take a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself
Now, we would like to move on to a more detailed look at the causes and effects of stress. In this section we will focus on the effects prolonged stress has on your body, behaviour and emotions, and look at key causes such as relationships, money, work, alcohol and drug use.