Hi guys! Today’s post is on recognising when you are stressed. Self-care is so important to both the mind and the body. But you cannot practice self-care if you are unable to recognise when you are stressed. Many people have a difficulty recognising this, this difficulty comes from not being able to make the connection between their stress symptoms and their emotions.
A lot of the time, it’s only after the stressful situation is over, that you recognise how stressed you were. By then, your body and mind are already exhausted and run down. Stress, is one way that our bodies respond to the demands of our lives. A little bit of stress can be healthy and beneficial for some people, for example it keeps us alert and productive.
However, all too often, we experience too much stress. Too much stress can result in serious physical, emotional, and behavioural symptoms. Therefore it is important to be able to recognise when you are experiencing unhealthy stress, so that you can start being mindful of your self-care to help you through the stressful time. This can prevent you from becoming run down
Stress causes a surge of hormones in your body. These stress hormones are released to enable you to deal with pressures or threats – the so-called “fight or flight” response. Once the pressure or threat has passed, your stress hormone levels will usually return to normal. However, if you’re constantly under stress, these hormones will remain in your body, leading to the symptoms of stress.
Stress can be unavoidable at times, but learning how to cope with it in a healthy way, can make all the difference! Below I have included some of the physical, emotional, and behavioural symptoms that accompany stress
- Sleep difficulties
- Chest pain
- Muscle pain and tension
- Headaches and migraines
- Increased sweating
- Weakened immune system
- Neck and back pain
- Loss of motivation
- Increased irritability and anger
- Depression or sadness
- Inability to focus
- Mood instability
- Decreased sex drive
- Unhealthy eating (over or under eating)
- Drug or alcohol use
- Social Withdrawal
- Nail biting
- Constant thoughts about stressors
Begin by recognising the symptoms that you experience. By doing this, you will be able to recognise the warning signs of stress. These are your own personal indications of when you are, or about to experience high stress. The next step will be practising self-care. Sometimes it’s not possible to get rid of a particular stress in your life, but you can reduce the symptoms, which I will be posting about soon!
Niamh xx Psychotherapist