Stress is something that everyone
experiences from time to time. Learn about how to identify its common
signs and deal with them.
Stress, in common
parlance, is the physical or mental disturbance we experience when
subjected to the pressures of life. It affects people in different
ways, with some people being more severely affected than others. Read on to find out potential signs that mean you are stressed and what you can do to relax.
Potential signs that you are stressed
Any situation has the ability to produce a stressful
response in an individual. Whether the response produced is manifested
physically, mentally, or emotionally, will depend on the stimulus
itself. However, the intensity of the response produced will vary from
person to person as no two individuals react in the same manner to the
Among the first signs of stress to be noticed is the drop in
the ability to take decisions. This is especially obvious when you
consider small decisions that you would normally require only a split
second to take. Stress can take a toll on your confidence, which translates into hesitancy when it comes to making a choice. You may be feeling the effects of stress when you find yourself suddenly starting to take a long time deciding what to wear, if earlier you could pick out an outfit in a few minutes.
Another often ignored sign that you are stressed is tiredness or fatigue. This is generally noticed during a stressful period. For example, you may be stressed
at work because you have a project that needs to be completed by a
particular time and you need to work extra hours to meet the deadline.
A direct fallout of this stress is that you will begin to feel tired
both mentally and physically. Another sign that is connected to fatigue
brought on by stress is insomnia. In fact it contributes to fatigue, as
your body has not been able to get the rest it deserves.
Other signs of stress include a change in normal body
functioning as well as appearance. Your face may break out in pimples
or your skin may develop spots and other blemishes as a sign of stress.
Stress can also affect your digestive system. This is because the lack
of appetite resulting from stress may cause you to skip meals. On the
other hand, stress could also cause you to overeat. Other stressful
responses include gastric ailments like acidity, stomach ulcers,
diarrhoea, and constipation.
Dealing with stress
The first step to dealing with stress is to recognise that it is affecting you adversely and identify your stressors, or reasons why you are stressed. A very effective way of reducing the effects of stress
on your body is to practice deep breathing techniques. This increases
the amount of oxygen you breathe in, which has a soothing effect on
your organs. Take deep breaths at regular intervals throughout the day.
If you can combine deep breathing with a short meditation
session, it will have the added benefit of calming your mind as well as
your body. If you have difficulty meditating by yourself, consider
joining a yoga class to help relieve the tension.
Another great way to fight stress is to engage in some form of
exercise. It improves blood flow within your body, which includes the
flow of blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Exercise also
stimulates the release of certain chemical substances in the brain,
called neurotransmitters. These substances control the ability of your
body to respond to various stimuli. At the same time, exercise promotes
the release of substances called endorphins, which have a feel-good
effect on the body as well as being a great stress buster.
Another important factor in combating stress is to make sure your body
and mind get adequate rest. Research has proved that people who miss
out on sleep tend to show a more adverse response to stress. Your
surroundings play a role in helping you rest properly, so make sure
your bed has a good mattress and that the temperature in your room is
not too high. If you still have trouble falling asleep, play some soft, soothing music to get you in a relaxed mood.
Everyone has to deal with stressful situations and there may be times when you simply cannot cope. Just remember to relax and take it easy when you find yourself bogged down by your troubles. You will be back on your feet in no time.