We all get stressed: it may be a deadline at work, relationship difficulties or problems juggling all of our day-to-day demands. Our levels of stress ebb and flow. Most of us identify a few things that we can do to keep it in check but how do we know when stress is becoming more of a problem for us? For many, the signs of stress can be quite telling.
Stress can manifest itself in different ways for different people so the first thing is to be aware of any changes that are happening for you physically or emotionally. Here are some of the more common signs of stress…
Physical Signs of Stress:
- Changes to your sleep pattern or feeling tired even after a good night’s sleep
- Changes to your appetite-eating less or snacking on high calorie foods to keep your energy levels up
- Feeling generally unwell with aches and pains
- Stomach complaints
- Catching more colds than usual and not able to shake them off
Behavioural Signs of Stress:
- Not taking part in usual activities
- Avoiding social contact
- Being easily distracted
- Missing deadlines/being generally less organised
- Increased use of alcohol
Emotional Signs of Stress:
- Feeling more irritable or snappy
- Have a sense of despondency
- Feeling more emotional
- Worrying about things that wouldn’t normally bother you
- Feeling overwhelmed
When left unchecked stress can lead to more long term physical and mental health problems such as high blood pressure, depression and anxiety. If you start to notice any of these stress symptoms and/or your normal ways of coping do not seem to be working, it may be time to talk it over with someone. Friends, family or a trusted work colleague can be a great sounding-board when you’re struggling. However, if you feel like you can’t talk about it with someone you know or you need more than just a friendly ear, you can make an appointment with your GP or you can make an appointment for a free initial consultation to get further help.
For more info on the signs of stress visit the Mind website.