Signs of Stress

What are your signs of stress?

The signs and symptoms of stress vary from person to person.

Knowing what your stress signature is and what causes your stress is an important step in your stress management.

Too much stress can manifest in a number of emotional and physical symptoms of stress.

There are many common signs of stress that you will be familiar with, such as:

increased fatigue

  • headaches
  • However there are some less obvious effects of stress that you also need to be familiar with such as:

    • increased digestion problems
    • increased susceptibility to sinus and allergies

    None of these signs and symptoms of stress mean for certain that you are suffering from too much stress in your life as these symptoms can also be caused by a number of medical or psychological conditions.

    Signs of stress

    Stress is a fact of life but it does not have to be a way of life.

    Knowing your signs and symptoms of stress is an important step in dealing with stress and taking control.

    Do you find that your stomach tightens up when stressed?

    Does your heart pound or do you feel anxious?

    Do your thoughts become rushed?

    These are just a couple of the common emotional and physical symptoms of stress.

    Each of us reacts to stress differently. Here are a number of common signs of stress:

    • Increased fatigue. Too much stress for too long can leave you feeling frazzled and fatigued. The general adaptation syndrome explains the effect of stress on the body and how stress can lead to job burnout.
    • Headaches. One of the common symptoms of stress is excess muscle tension. This daily build-up of stress can result in stress headaches.
    • Sleep disturbances. Do you wake up each morning from a terrible sleep? There are over 70 sleep disorders that are characterized as too little sleep, disturbed sleep, and excessive sleep.

      Stress can result in disturbances to your sleep patterns.

    • Sinus and allergies. The body's immune system can protect you from germs, dust, pollution. Chronic stress weakens the immune system making you more susceptible to cold's and flu. I talk more about stress and the immune system.
    • Mood swings. Stress can increase your frustration and irritability.
    • Focusing on negative thoughts. When the fight or flight response is activated your mind becomes alert to threats and may view the world in a more threatening way.

      This can culminate in more negative thoughts. I talk more about adopting a positive mental attitude as a means to deal with stress.

    • Digestion problems. Excess muscle tension can interrupt the digestive process. Combined with excessive stomach acids can lead to a number of digestion problems.

      Stress has been implicated in irritable bowel syndrome and intestinal gas.

    • Skin problems - breakouts, rashes, hives. Stress sometimes manifests on the skin. Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, rashes and acne hinder an individual's confidence and can impact on their mood.

      What is the connection between stress and acne?

    • Hair loss. Stress can cause you to pull your hair out! But stress and hair loss related in a few other ways!
    • Decreased sex drive.
    • Nervous behaviors. These may include nail biting, pacing, or teeth grinding.
    • Excessive coffee, alcohol, or cigarette intake. One way of coping with stress is that people turn to unhealthy behaviors. This unhealthy coping strategy can increase stress levels.
    • Eating poorly. It is not unusual to make poor nutritional choices when stressed. We reach for fatty foods or foods that are heavy in sugar.

      These unhealthy behaviors can further increase the severity of stress.

    The signs of stress will be different for each person. Knowing your signs of stress allows you to put into place effective stress management techniques.

    Tips for reducing stress

    There are many ways to deal with stress. Here we provide a number of tips for reducing stress.

    Recognize your stress symptoms. The signs of stress and different for each person. Download a stress diary and know what your biggest causes of stress and how you react to them.

    Keeping a stress diary is an objective way to learn more about stress and to set stress management goals.

    Applying these quick tips for reducing stress can be useful when you feel you are becoming stress.

    Relaxation exercises. Relaxation techniques can counter the stress response by activating the relaxation response.

    Some common relaxation exercises include:

    Accept the situation and work out ways to address it. Accepting the situation rather than avoidance can be much easier said than done.

    But accepting that there are some things that are out of your control and focusing on those things within your control can be a reasonable long-term strategy.

    This problem solving technique is useful ways to address stressful issues that are unavoidable.

    Shift your perspective. Shifting your perspective through a positive mental attitude builds your stress resilience.

    Re-framing your problems and also finding an emotional release is important and can be aided with laughing yoga or laughter therapy.

    Practice mindfulness based stress reduction. mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) is a stress management technique that focuses your awareness in the present.

    Empirical studies on MBSR have been shown to provide stress relief and reduce anxiety and the incidence of depression.

    Vitamins and nutrients for stress. When stressed your body strips your body of certain vitamins and makes digestion of nutrients (such as calcium) more difficult.

    Vitamins for stress help you to cope with stress more effectively.

    Similarly, stress can compromise your immune system and make your more susceptible to colds and viruses. Herbs for stress or anti-anxiety herbs that are .... can support your immune system in periods of prolonged stress.

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