Stress is part and parcel of everyday life as we deal with challenges posed by work, family commitments, financial obligations, and social relationships. While a small to moderate amount of stress may stimulate us to perform better, excessive stress or stress which endures over a prolonged period of time can damage our health.
Stress Symptoms Have Many Effects on Your Body and Behaviour
Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that irritating headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. Do you know that stress may be the main cause of your illness? Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behaviours. But, because people handle stress differently, symptoms of stress can vary. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can help you manage them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Emotional symptoms of stress include:
- Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
- Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
- Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
- Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
- Avoiding others
Physical symptoms of stress include:
- Low energy
- Upset stomach, including diarrhoea, constipation, and nausea
- Aches, pains, and tense muscles
- Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
- Frequent colds and infections
- Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
- Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
- Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
Cognitive symptoms of stress include:
- Constant worrying
- Racing thoughts
- Forgetfulness and disorganization
- Inability to focus
- Poor judgment
- Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
Are you having any symptoms that was mentioned above?
Get Away Your Stress with The Stress Management Techniques
Self-talk can be positive (“I can do this” or “everything will be OK”) or negative (“I’ll never get better” or “I’m so stupid”). You are your strongest help! Negative self-talk increases stress. Positive self-talk can help you calm down and control stress.
“I can’t do this.”> “I’ll do the best I can. I’ve got this.”
“Everything is going wrong.” > “I can handle this if I take one step at a time.”
“I hate it when this happens.” > “I know how to deal with this; I’ve done it before.”
“I feel helpless and alone.”> “I can reach out and get help if I need it.”
“I can’t believe I screwed up. > “I’m human, and we all make mistakes. I can fix it.”
Emergency stress stoppers are actions to help you defuse stress in the moment. You may need different stress stoppers for different situations, and sometimes it helps to combine them. Here are some ideas:
- Count to 10 before you speak or react. (Cool yourself down first!)
- Take a few slow, deep breaths until you feel your body un-clench a bit.
- Go for a walk, even if it’s just to the restroom and back. It can help break the tension and give you a chance to think things through.
- Try a quick meditation or prayer to get some perspective.
- If it’s not urgent, sleep on it and respond tomorrow. This works especially well for stressful emails and social media trolls.
- Walk away from the situation for a while and handle it later once things have calmed down.
- Break down big problems into smaller parts. Take one step at a time, instead of trying to tackle everything at once.
- Turn on some chill music or an inspirational podcast to help you deal with road rage.
- Take a break to pet the dog, hug a loved one or do something to help someone else.
- Work out or do something active. Exercise is a great antidote for stress!
Doing things, you enjoy is a natural way to relieve stress and find your peace. Even when you’re feeling down, you may find pleasure in simple things such as going for a walk, catching up with a friend, or reading a good book.
Some of these activities may work for you:
- Work on a scrapbook or photo album to focus on good memories. (If you have any video footage of your recent travel trip, you can consider doing a vlog!)
- Read a book, short story or magazine. (Or even watching your favourite Netflix show!)
- Meet a friend for coffee or a meal. (Your friend can be your greatest support! Share with them about your good or bad moments, do not keep it to yourself!)
- Play a favourite sport like golf, tennis, or basketball. (Exercising is a good stress reliever!)
- Play with your kids or pets – outdoors if possible. (Distract yourself from the bad things and focus on only happy moments!)
- Take a walk in nature. (Nature is beautiful and calming!)
- Take a relaxing bath and feel the stress wash away. (Soak yourself in a warm bathtub!)
- Meditate or practice yoga. (Learn Mindfulness techniques!)
Different techniques work for different people. What works for your peer might not work for you. Thus, it is important to find the best stress management solution for yourself!
Help Is Available for Stress
Whether you have or have not completed your personal or work goals, give yourself a pat on your back for doing a good job! Before you start to plan for your next life or work goals, do not forget to make sure that you are in the most healthy and positive mind to kickstart the planning. You are not alone, seek help now!