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.
Make A Schedule Of Worry
Oftentimes, when things are stressful in our lives, we feel like we need to worry about them all of the time in order to solve them.
Sometimes, that just isnt true.
Say Im worried about future results of a medical test. I can spend my whole day stressed about it, or I can say, okay, I am going to give myself 15 minutes to worry and stress about them at 10:00am, and then after that, no more.
Give yourself permission to bottle up some of that stress into specific time periods so you can spend the rest of your time knowing that you cant do anything to change it and should instead get on with your life.
Its the same thing if youre stressed about a busy schedule or upcoming performance.
Your schedule is only going to get busier if you fill it with stressing out, and the more time you spend stressed, the less time youll have to practice for your performance.
Accept that stress is a natural part of life, but tell it that it only has a few minutes and stick to it.
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Talk About Everything And Anything
Start by affirming and recognizing her accomplishments verbally.
At a stressful moment, she might be questioning her strengths and capabilities. Avail yourself to always remind her of what a strong and capable person she is.
Women need constant reassurance even if they might not show it. Taking it upon yourself to be her voice of encouragement will ultimately lift her spirits.
Try to mention examples of all the things she has overcome in the past. That way shell be able to understand that youre not just saying things because you care, but also because they are facts.
Give her honest and heartfelt compliments. Dont assume that she knows her new dress looks amazing or that the freckles on her cheeks enhance her beauty.
Open up and tell her how amazing you think that new perfume smells on her. That way youll be able to make her smile, reducing her stress and at the same time boosting her self-esteem.
Whenever you see doubt in her eyes or she starts negating your compliment, stop her by reassuring her that she does look great. The negativity of her thoughts might be fueling her stress.
Repeat the compliment if necessary and make her say it out loud. Your goal is to inject positivity in her thoughts, and ensure that her good qualities sink into her subconscious.
Women tend to feel better after expressing themselves. Taking your time to sit her down and just lend her a listening ear will go a long way.
Be the one to initiate the conversation if necessary.
Be Honest With Everyone For The Whole Day
A lot of times, the mental stress and strain we feel is from having to present this happy front to social media and our friends and family.
We feel like we need to have it all together and be strong for the people around us, but you would be surprised at how many people are also struggling.
Im not saying to tell the cashier your whole life store, but when they ask, how are you?, you really can respond with feeling a bit stressed, actually!.
It may start productive and comforting conversations, or youll just feel better for being honest and not having to have the extra stress of pretending not to be stressed.
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Recognising Your Stress Triggers
If you’re not sure what’s causing your stress, keep a diary and make a note of stressful episodes for two-to-four weeks. Then review it to spot the triggers.
Things you might want to write down include:
- the date, time and place of a stressful episode
- what you were doing
- a stress rating
You can use the diary to:
- work out what triggers your stress
- work out how you operate under pressure
- develop better coping mechanisms
Doctors sometimes recommend keeping a stress diary to help them diagnose stress.
Is It Stress Or Anxiety
Life can be stressfulyou may feel stressed about performance at school, traumatic events , or a life change. Everyone feels stress from time to time.
What is stress? Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of homework or having an illness. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time.
What is anxiety? Anxiety is your body’s reaction to stress and can occur even if there is no current threat.
If that anxiety doesnt go away and begins to interfere with your life, it could affect your health. You could experience problems with sleeping, or with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. You also may be at higher risk for developing a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression. Read more about anxiety disorders.
So, how do you know when to seek help?
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Who Is Affected By Stress
All of us can probably recognise some of the feelings described above. 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 less affected with a great deal of pressure.
Some people are more likely to experience stressful situations than others. For example:
- people with a lot of debt or financial insecurity are more likely to be stressed about money
- people from minority ethnic groups or who are LGBTIQ+ are more likely to be stressed about prejudice or discrimination
- people with disabilities or long-term health conditions are more likely to be stressed about their health or about stigma associated with their condition.
Worried You May Be Suffering From High Stress
Take our 2-minute stress level quiz to see if you could benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.
If you are experiencing any of these signs you may want to take action to reduce stress today. Here are some simple but revealing questions you can ask yourself to pinpoint areas for improvement or change. Asking the right questions can identify what improvements you can make to feel more relaxed and in control of your health.
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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.
Healthy Ways To Cope With Stress
Feeling emotional and nervous or having trouble sleeping and eating can all be normal reactions to stress. Here are some healthy ways you can deal with stress:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including those on social media. Its good to be informed but hearing about the traumatic event constantly can be upsetting. Consider limiting news to just a couple of times a day and disconnecting from phone, tv, and computer screens for a while.
- Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise, get plenty of sleep, and give yourself a break if you feel stressed out.
- Take care of your body.
- Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditateexternal icon.
- Avoid excessive alcohol, tobacco, and substance use.
- Continue with routine preventive measures as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible get a booster shot if you are age 18 or older.
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What Is Anxiety Twitching
Anxiety twitching is a potential symptom of anxiety. Not everyone who has anxiety experiences anxiety twitching as a symptom.
Twitching is when a muscle, or group of muscles, moves without you trying to move it. This could be a small movement or a larger, jerking motion.
Anxiety twitching can affect any muscles in the body and any number of muscles at a time. It may last for a few seconds or much longer.
In some people, anxiety twitching can happen off and on indefinitely.
Eye muscles are commonly affected by anxiety twitching.
Anxiety twitching often gets worse when youre trying to go to sleep, but usually stops while youre sleeping.
It also often gets worse as your anxiety gets worse. However, it may take some time for anxiety twitching to go away after you get less anxious.
Questions To Ask Yourself
Whos in my support network? Everyone should have people in their life who are positive influences, support providers, and role models for healthy living. They can be friends, family members, mentors, spiritual leaders, colleagues, and mental health professionals.
What activities do I enjoy? Your work might be enjoyable, but everyone needs hobbies that arent about competition or personal accomplishment. What helps ease your worries and makes you more mindful about your body? These activities might include reading, dancing, gardening, board games, crafts, etc.
What are my sleep habits? If youre getting roughly 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night, youll be able to think more clearly, boost your immune system, and concentrate better on work and relationships. A simple step such as turning off screens an hour before bed can make a huge difference in your sleep quality.
Am I saying no to unnecessary tasks? Ideally you should be able to pass on tasks that demand too much of you, arent your responsibility, or dont fall in line with your personal values and objectives. If youre not sure where to start, take a look at your schedule and to-do list, and see what can be delegated or removed completely.
Am I organized? Start to declutter your life. When you can manage tasks with an accurate schedule and prioritized to-do list, you reduce the unnecessary anxiety that can accompany a cluttered and confusing agenda.
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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.
Don’t Ignore Your Stress
People often don’t address their stress in a proactive way until they feel overwhelmed by it, and often then, they tend to be reactive rather than proactive, which doesn’t always lead to the best decision-making. Stress management is an ongoing process, not a one-time act.
It is important to have an overall stress management plan that includes not only cutting out stressors and managing stress that you feel, but actually remaining aware of the stress you are experiencing, and not letting your stress levels get too high.
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Create A Spa In Your Bathroom
I dont care if your bathroom is falling apart with black sludge dripping from the ceiling .
You can still create a spa in your bathroom.
Fill up the tub, light some candles, and turn the lights off and just soak and sit.
Do a face mask, put in your favorite smell into a bath bomb, whatever you need to do.
Close the door behind you and pretend youve stepped into a spa at a fancy hotel and dont come out until youre feeling relaxed and ready to take on the world again.
Dwell On It All Night
Sleep is a precious commodity when youre stressed out. Its too tempting to lay in bed worrying all night long. Missing out on sleep can actually make you feel more stressed. Sleep deprivation can interfere with your ability to think clearly. You need your brain in optimal working condition to find the answer to resolve your stress.
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How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
Meet Up With A Friend
What are friends for besides helping us stop stressing about everything?
Social interaction is often a good thing when it comes to being stressed, as it can make us feel more normal and let us vent our frustrations out.
It also helps us turn our attention to other people instead of just our own hectic schedules.
Make plans to meet up with a friend that you trust and is a good listener, and make sure to fit it in where you can.
If youre stressed because your schedule is so busy and you cant find time to meet people, see if you can plan to hang out while doing something you already needed to do anyway like picking the kids up from school or even do something simple like your grocery shopping together.
Reach out for that human connection!
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Good Smells Good Food Good Sleep
Add lavender oil to a bath and enjoy its stress-reducing capabilities. Make yourself a warm soup with broth made from scratch, nourishing you back to life. Take naps or play a yoga nidra recording before bed to help you relax. Even the little things a lit candle, chamomile tea, plugging in your diffuser with delicious oils can have the biggest impact.