“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
What does it mean to feel “stressed”?
A stressed person feels like they’re under an abnormal amount of pressure. This could be due to an enormous workload, financial burdens, or an argument with a partner or family member.
All kinds of situations can cause stress. It can be triggered by significant life events, grief, a poor work-life balance and minor irritations such as feeling unappreciated, feeling ignored, etc.
How does stress affect you?
“Did you know that stress is only beneficial if it is short-lived? Prolonged stress can lead to mental health problems like depression and anxiety, and illness such as heart disease.”
Stress affects you in many ways with varying intensities. It affects both your physical and emotional health. When you feel threatened or upset, your body creates a stress response to help you deal with these threats. These responses are hormones that can reduce blood flow to your skin and reduce stomach activity. Cortisol, a stress hormone, will release fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy. This can trigger physical symptoms, change your behaviour and bring on even more intense emotions.
- A change in appetite
- Sleeping problems
- Muscle tension
Know that these symptoms can feed on each other to produce physical ones.
- Low self-esteem
- Verbal or physical aggression
- Racing toss
- Frequent temper loss
How can you identify stress?
You may be stressed if you experience some of the following:
- Feelings of constant worry or anxiety
- Mood swings
- Short temper
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulty concentrating
- Aches, pain, muscle tension
- Loss of sex drive
- Eating more or less
- Need drugs or alcohol to relax
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Diarrhoea or constipation
How can you help yourself?
- Realise when it is causing you a problem
- Identify the causes
- Review your lifestyle
- Eat healthy
- Take time out
- Be mindful
- Get some sleep
- Don’t be too hard on yourself
- Seek professional help if you are unable to manage it on your own.