Stress can be confusing and send out signals that we would not think to associate with being stressed out. Knowing how to recognize these signs is extremely important however if we are to maintain our mental health and wellbeing.
Everyone experiences some stress from time to time. This can be a good thing when it is not over done.
Stress… good? You may be saying. Yes in moderation of course.
That’s because it can actually help us to stay focused and meet our goals, sometimes pushing us beyond even our highest expectations.
However, there are times when stress can go to far.
The physical effects of stress on the body can usually be easily identified, however the mental effects may not be as obvious.
If you do not show any outward symptoms of stress, then everyone else could be left in the dark as to what they are going though and how much stress they are actually under.
Stress is the body’s response both mentally and physically to things that alter the balance in our lives.
The first response is either to flee or stay depending on the situation causing the stress. The heart starts to pound; muscles begin tensing and a person’s breathing rate increases. Every sense becomes heightened in response to stress.
These responses are all reactions that are meant to protect us from the source of the stress. Stress can be either long or short term and it matters not which it is as they can both effect you in ways that can and cannot be seen.
Stress can be triggered by a number of things and strike at anytime.
It could be simply from driving to work, getting stuck in morning traffic and all of a sudden be completely stressed out. A phone call can set a person off, a child crying even a child laughing, an argument, bills piling up, the death of a loved one, a separation or divorce, anything can cause stress.
These are just a few out of millions of things that can cause you to experience stress. If you experience a lot of stress you may find it hard shutting off the stress response.
When this happens, even when the cause of the stress is gone, the effects remain for sometime afterward. In order to deal with the pressure you have to learn to recognize the signs stress can exhibit from day to day.
Each person shows stress in a different manner. The symptoms can be emotional, behavioral physical and/or cognitive.
Stress can manifest itself emotionally with things such as moodiness and agitation.
You can become restless easy or have a lack of patience and get irritated rather easily, which in turn leads to the loss of temper. You may also be so tense that others begin to notice. You may find it impossible to rest, feel overwhelmed or feel isolated which can cause you to feel sad.
Behavioral issues can occur when you are stressed as well. Some of them are not good for your overall health either. Eating and sleeping habits could change. You can start to isolate yourself and begin to neglect the things that you are supposed to be doing.
Nervous habits could develop, like biting of the fingernails and pacing or they may turn to alcohol, start smoking or even using drugs in extreme cases. You may begin to grind your teeth or clench your jaws. You could overreact or pick fights, maybe even start to exercise intensely more than you should.
As if this wasn’t enough there are physical symptoms as well.
You may develop headaches or backaches, as the muscles develop a great deal of tension in them. You could even have a decrease in sex drive. There are physical situations such as being in danger that cause a stress reaction as well. This reaction is more of a burst of energy that enables you to protect yourself and get out of the situation.
Some of the cognitive signs of stress that aren’t quite as bad are a lack of concentration and the inability to make decisions. When you’re under stress you could see everything as negative and lose your objectivity. You may also find yourself worrying all of the time with and without reason.
One symptom of stress is a sign that it is beginning to take its toll; whereas several symptoms means that it is time for you to do something about the stress that is accumulating in your life.
When you worry so much that you can only focus on the worst-case scenarios it is not good for you either mentally or physically. The old saying about worrying yourself sick actually has some basis. If stress is allowed free reign then it can manifest itself into a number of medical and psychological problems that will require medical attention.
It is best to seek medical attention before this stage occurs, if you are under excessive stress that can be the start of other problems.
Too much stress and the constant worrying that oft time results can even cause anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Some have been known to lock themselves away, not bothering to bath, brush their hair or even get dressed.
At times it has even been seen where a normally neat person just let their home go, not caring if it is clean or not. Excessive stress can wreck havoc in every part of a person’s life if it is not kept in check.
The way people deal with stress varies from one person to another. When you can get a handle on your stress, take a deep breath and assess the situation you will find that you will feel calmer as the world around you begins to slow to a pace that you can handle.
The are numerous stress signs and oftentimes they are overlooked or mistaken for other things.
Pay attention and learn what your stress triggers are and what you can do to alleviate stress before it does get out of your control. Take the time to learn how to manage your stress.
The most important this it to manage the stress, before it manages you. Always seek help and take time out to properly recover your mind and body before stress can begin to really take hold.
Return to places, see friends and do things that take you out of that stressful place and allows you to get some perspective.