Life Balance with Laurie - Helping you achieve balance from within!
Signs of Stress
 
Stress can cause both mental and physical symptoms and the effects are different for different people.  It is so important to recognize when your stress levels are out of control.  The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you.  You can get use to it, it feels familiar, even normal and you don't notice how much it's affecting your life or health.
 
Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms
Cognitive Symptoms:
Emotional Symptoms:
  • Memory problems
  • Depression or 
           unhappiness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sense of loneliness 
         and isolation
  • Poor judgment
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Agitation, inability to
         relax
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Moodiness
  • Constant worrying
  • Irritability or short
          temper
Physical Symptoms:
Behavioural Symptoms:
  • Aches and pains
  • Eating more or less
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Sleeping too much
 or too little
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Isolating yourself
 from others
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Procrastinating or 
neglecting responsibilities
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Using alcohol,
 cigarettes, or drugs to
 relax
  • Frequent colds
  •  Nervous habits
     (eg nail biting, pacing)
 
Keep in mind that the signs and symptoms of stress can also be caused by other psychological and medical problems.  If you're experiencing any of the warning signs of stress, it's important to see a doctor for a full evaluation.  Your doctor can help you determine whether or not your symptoms are stress-related.
 
While experiencing one or two of the above symptoms may not be cause for concern, having a number of them may mean you are under more stress than you think.  But recognizing the the symptoms and realizing you are under stress is the first and most important step.  Next, learn how stress affects your health.
 
What are your personal signs of stress?

Even though there are some good examples of what causes stress, the key is finding what causes stress for you.  
 
People react to stress in different ways and once you identify your signs, they can serve as your early warning signs.
 
You should assess yourself for four types of stress signs:
  • Changes in body functions and physical health
  • Changes in emotions and feelings
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Changes in thoughts
 
Changes in body functions and physical health.
Do you get more:
Are you noticing
this?
Has someone else
noticed this?
Backache
 
 
Muscle Tension
 
 
Nervous Stomach
 
 
Breathing Problems
 
 
Frequent Urination
 
 
Fatigue
 
 
Dizziness
 
  
 
Changes in emotions and feelings.
Do you feel more:
Are you noticing
this?
Has someone else
noticed this?
Irritable
 
 
Sad
 
 
Worried
 
 
Tense
 
 
Angry
 
  
 
Changes in behaviour.
Are there changes
in how much you:
Are you noticing
this?
Has someone else
noticed this?
Sleep
 
 
Eat (too much or too
little)
 
 
Want Sex (more or
less than before)
 
 
Drink Alcohol
 
 
Use Drugs
 
  
 
Changes in thoughts.
Are you finding it
harder to:
Are you noticing
this?
Has someone else
noticed this?
Remember Things
 
 
Concentrate
 
 
Look on the Bright Side
 
 
Do you find
yourself:
 
 
Helpless
 
 
Hopeless
 
  
 
Now you have pin pointed some early signs, try and relate the stress that is causing these symptoms.
 
 
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