How do you know if you really are stressed?
Symptoms of Stress
Understand these to cope better
How do you know if you are truly stressed?
And if you are…
Is your stress acute…?
Is it chronic…?
And are you showing stress symptoms?
Understanding the symptoms of stress is a starting point, and by doing so we can best develop our stress coping strategies.
Research* has shown that people who have a wider range of stress management strategies cope better with stress. Although most people develop stress management habits which they regularly rely on, not knowing about the type of stress that they have, the cause or the symptoms can be detrimental.
Stress can be acute or chronic and often presents with different symptoms.
These symptoms can be Physical, Psychological and Behavioural. In this article we will present some of the common symptoms associated with acute and chronic stress in these three areas.
These symptoms relate to the physical changes that we experience because of our stress. Common physical symptoms of acute stress include but are not limited to:
- Muscle tension
- Joint or back pain
- Headaches, migraines and dizziness
- Indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, nausea
- Appetite changes
- Weight loss or gain
- Breathing problems
- Sleep problems
- High blood pressure, chest pain or palpitations
- Ear pain
- Coldness or sweating
Over prolonged periods, stress can become chronic and can contribute to the development of a range of physical disorders including:
- A weakened immune system
- Low energy, exhaustion, and fatigue
- Sexual dysfunction
- Chronic pain
- Respiratory problems
- Autoimmune diseases
- Accelerated ageing
These symptoms relate to the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that we exhibit as a result of our stress. Common psychological symptoms of acute stress include but are not limited to:
- Becoming easily agitated, frustrated or in a mood
- Having difficulties with your concentration
- Being indecisive
- Feeling overloaded
- Finding it difficult to relax
- Having racing thoughts
- Feeling angry or resentful
- Avoiding others
Over prolonged periods, stress can become chronic and can contribute to the development of a range of psychological disorders including:
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling overwhelmed
These symptoms relate to the behaviours that we exhibit as a result of our stress. Common behavioural symptoms of acute stress include but are not limited to:
- Excessive TV watching or video gaming
- Over-eating or under-eating
- Drinking alcohol, smoking, or using recreational drugs
- Nervous habits such as biting nails or grinding teeth
- Arguing regularly or easily losing temper
Over prolonged periods, stress can become chronic and can contribute to the development of a range of behavioural disorders including:
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Lack of control
- Communication problems
- Relationship issues
- Increased nervousness and habits
Take a moment to consider how stress is affecting your life… ask yourself what are the symptoms that you are presenting and what are the consequences of these symptoms?
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