Recognising the Signs of Stress: an Important Step for Stress Relief

In today’s society, people are dealing with the growing demands of family, personal commitments, meeting deadlines and frustrations at work. All of these extra demands can produce stress. To most people, stress seems a normal part of their lives. Whilst others, are not sure when they are stressed or not.


Stress – We Are Different…

Reactions and responses to stressors in everyday life vary from person to person. For example, one person may consider an exam very stressful and react accordingly (e.g. sweaty palms and decrease in the ability to concentrate), whilst others may have very little changes in their body.

Some types of stress are considered normal and acceptable, however too much can lead to heightened physical and psychological health issues. We need to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, so we can deal with them effectively and discover ways to find relief and/or balance in our life.


Recognising the Signs of Stress…

How can we recognise the early signs of stress before they take their toll on us? Here are some examples of what may happen as part of a stress reaction:

  • Physiology – increase in blood pressure, increased blood flow to muscles, changes in the immune system, increased perspiration, increased heart rate and increase in stress hormones
  • Behavioural reactions – biting nails, drug and alcohol use, compulsive eating, finger/toe tapping, clenching and bring teeth, procrastination, withdrawal from social activities and a critical attitude towards others
  • Emotional reactions – worry/anxiety, loss of pleasure, boredom or withdrawal, intense emotions (fear, anger, worry, distress) and irritability
  • Physical signs – headaches, increased pain, sleep problems, digestive problems, fatigue or restlessness and increased muscle tension
  • Cognitive reactions – decreased concentration, lack of creativity, harder to make decisions, obsessive thinking and racing thoughts.

Awareness is the first step in change, so becoming aware os you own signs of stress is a gift. Once you know these, you can then look at ways to manage the stress.


Dealing With Stress Effectively

No matter how busy you are in your daily activities, take time to reflect on how you are faring mentally, emotionally and physically. Have a look at the article – are you taking time out to reflect to find out how you reacting to different situations. You may even like to identify your current stressors and identify some strategies to deal with the stress effectively. Also – if you believe you need some extra support dealing with stress, make sure you ask for help and get the support required!

A couple of ways to deal with stress effectively include –

  • physical exercise – this can eliminate muscle tension and improve your immunity against stress,
  • practicing mindfulness meditation, and
  • yoga – can help to stay calm and focused.


Over to You…

It is important to note we can enjoy life even when pressures abound. Dealing with stress starts with recognising the stress and then making the decision to take action and deal with it.

If you need to get support for your mental health, help is available, There are a few websites listed here that may be able to help you. Click here to access this page.


If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards your freedom and opening your heart, why not join our Toolkit?


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