What are the possible signs and symptoms of stress?
Stress affects the mind, body, and behavior in many ways and has the potential to harm your health, emotional well-being, and relationships with others.
How stress can affect your mind
How stress can make you feel
· Memory problems.
· Difficulty making decisions.
· Inability to concentrate.
· Seeing only the negative.
· Repetitive or racing thoughts.
· Poor judgment.
· Moody and hypersensitive.
· Restlessness and anxiety.
· Anger and irritability
· Sense of being overwhelmed.
· Lack of confidence.
How stress can affect your body
How stress can affect your behavior
· Digestive problems.
· Muscle tension and pain.
· Sleep disturbances.
· Chest pain.
· High blood pressure.
· Weight gain or loss.
· Asthma or shortness of breath.
· Skin problems.
· Eating more or less.
· Sleeping too much or too little.
· Neglecting your responsibilities.
· Increasing alcohol and drug use.
· Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing).
· Teeth grinding or jaw clenching.
· Overdoing activities such as shopping.
· Losing your temper.
· Overreacting to unexpected problems.
Health Problems Linked to Stress
· Heart attack
· Eating disorders
· Substance abuse
· Irritable bowel syndrome
· Memory loss
· Thyroid problems
How can I change my lifestyle habits to manage stress better?
§ Get enough sleep.
§ Connect with others and share your feelings.
§ Exercise regularly. Nothing beats aerobic exercise to dissipate the excess energy. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress.
§ Eat a balanced, nutritious diet.Take time to eat breakfast in the morning, it will help keep you going throughout the day.
§ Reduce caffeine and sugar. You’ll feel more relaxed, less jittery or nervous, and you’ll sleep better.
§ Don’t self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. These lessen stress only temporary. Don’t mask the issue at hand; deal with it head on and with a clear mind.
§ Do something for yourself everyday. Too much work is actually inefficient and can lead to burnout. Recognize when you are most stressed and allow yourself some reasonable breaks. Most importantly do things that make you happy.
How can I handle stress better?
§ Have realistic expectations: Know your limits. Whether personally or professionally, be realistic about how much you can do. Set limits for yourself and learn to say “no” to more work and commitments.
§ Reframe problems: See problems as opportunities. As a result of positive thinking, you will be able to handle whatever is causing your stress. Refute negative thoughts and try to see the glass as half full. Your thoughts can become like a pair of dark glasses, allowing little light or joy into your life.
§ Maintain your sense of humor: This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.
§ Express your feelings instead of bottling them up: In order to live a less stressful life, learn to calm your emotions.
§ Don’t try to control events or other people: Many circumstances in life are beyond your control, particularly the behavior of others. Consider that we live in an imperfect world. Learn to accept what is, for now, until the time comes when perhaps you can change things.
§ Ask yourself “Is this my problem?”If it isn’t, leave it alone. If it is, can you resolve it now? Once the problem is settled, leave it alone. Don’t agonize over the decision, and try to accept situations you cannot change.
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