50 Signs Of Stress... and a little help to deal with it.
Reactions to stress are stored in the mind and body, they shape our perceptions and view of the world.
Constant repetition of the fight, flight and collapse response takes its toll on the immune system and leaves us susceptible to illness, disease. Similarly mental responses to stress include anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and phobias.
Therefore self-care on more than one level is vital to our health. More importantly, finding ways of controlling our reactions to stress mentally and physically, rather than allowing it to control us, is essential if we want to be a well being.
I should know I've been a stress management expert for many years and my clients know that even one small change can make a huge difference to the quality of life and can help you cope better.
Below are 50 signs of stress. More noteworthy are the solutions to combat stress and help you deal with it.
Anxious, apprehensive, frightened, fearful
Excessive feelings of shame or embarrassment
Depressed or generally low
Helpless, out of control
Experiencing intrusive thoughts or images
Experiencing loss of confidence
Thinking the future is bleak
Unable to concentrate
Constipation or diarrhoea
Change to menstrual cycle
Frequent colds or other infections
Feeling faint or fainting
Headaches or migraines
Rapid weight change
Sweating or clammy hands
Tightness or pain in chest
Thrush or cystitis
Vague aches or pains
Increased tiredness or fatigue
Aggressive or passive behaviour
Clenched fists or jaws
Comfort eating or loss of appetite
Compulsive or impulsive behaviour
Disturbed sleep patterns
Increased alcohol or caffeine consumption
Poor time management
Reduced work performance
Withdrawal from supportive relationships
Too busy to relax
Stress management is something that has to be built into and made part of each day.
Furthermore, repetition is the mother of all skill and stress management requires practise. You wouldn't expect to go to the gym now and then to have a strong, toned body and it's the same with maintaining a calm, relaxed state in the face of stressful events and triggers.
Firstly you have to know the difference between stressed and calm. Practise a Progressive Relaxation. Do it Now!
Simply tense every muscle starting with your face, screw your eyes up, your mouth, neck, shoulders arms etc right the way throughout your entire body, tensing until it's almost unbearable then slowly release and enjoy the feeling of gentle relaxation spreading through your body.
Secondly repeat this as often as possible so that you train and engrain the right responses to stress.
Finally, stop the stress reaction more quickly by recognising tension and stress as it's creeping in. Consciously pay attention to that knot in your shoulder or tightness in your neck, use it as a trigger to start the relaxation response.
Because stress increases when we forget to breathe properly humming and whistling will help you to breathe better. A whistle or hum is effectively an exhalation.
Try it now, you'll notice that you take a bigger, slightly longer inhalation after you've whistled or hummed. Increased breath means more energy, a calmer emotional state and equanimity of mind.
Most importantly reprogram your mind to combat stress while you sleep. Hypnosis programs allows your subconscious mind to absorb positive suggestions that counter daytime stress triggers.
Maximum effort required, put in earbuds as you drop off to sleep. Return On Investment = Feeling rested and refreshed with a positive state of mind and wellbeing. Effortless!