This week is International Stress Awareness Week. This awareness week has been created in order to help you recognise if you (or someone you know) are perhaps being affected, and act on it before things get too tough.
Stress is your body’s response to perceived threat or pressures, whether at work or at home, or both, and even pressure that comes from yourself!
Today I would like to list some symptoms of being adversely affected by too much pressure for your information. I would also like to give you some good news about stress because I know we could all do with some good news right now.
The reason why we need to be more aware of stress symptoms is because the impact of stress can creep up on you gradually so you might not even notice what is happening. Here are the most common symptoms that you might want to remember to watch out for:
- Inability to concentrate or make simple decisions
- Memory lapses
- Being easily distracted
- Negative thinking
- Depression and anxiety
- Insomnia or waking up tired
- Lack of self-esteem/ confidence
- Being tearful
- Being irritable
- Mood swings
- Being defensive
- Feeling out of control
- Lack of motivation
- Aches and pains
- Allergies, rashes and skin irritations
- Frequent colds/ infections
- Panic attacks
- Heart problems/ high blood pressure
- Not making time for relaxation and pleasurable activities
- Increased reliance on alcohol/ smoking/ caffeine etc.
- Poor time management
- Anger outbursts
- Becoming a workaholic
- Social withdrawal
If you notice some of these in yourself, you might want to consider taking steps to deal with it.
And now let’s talk about good news about stress!
- Stress in small amounts provides a drive and energy to get things done, so it could actually help you to be more motivated to accomplish tasks more efficiently.
- Stress in small bursts can boost your brain power, improving memory and attention span
- Stress symptoms are a sign that you are out of balance. It encourages you to take time to step back and think about what you have too little or too much of in your life.
- Stress response is an opportunity to realise that something is not working in your life. Do you work too much? Are you neglecting your relationships with other people? It’s time to see what needs your attention.
- Moderate stress during pregnancy can help children develop more advanced developmental skills by the age of 2.
Chronic stress can impact us negatively in many ways, so it is important to pay attention to the symptoms. But it is also good to know that there is good news about stress, and that stress can indeed have positive effects on us too.
If you would like to learn more about stress, this week may just give you a nudge to find out more. If you would prefer to have a chat about it, do not hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text Anna on 07966151680. Anna has over 10 years’ experience of helping people cope with stress and identify ways to overcome the negative effects of stress. As part of treatment, Anna also teaches practical tools and techniques that you can take away and utilise independently.