How can I tell if I’m under too much stress?
As stress begins to take its toll physically, emotionally and on your behaviour, a variety of symptoms result. Here are a few examples:
- Physically: breathlessness / headaches / tendency to sweat / feeling sick or dizzy / sleeping problems / indigestion or heartburn
- Emotionally: aggressive / dreading failure / depressed / dreading the future / believing you are bad or ugly / depressed
- Behaviour: difficulty making decision / frequently crying / problems concentrating / inability to show true feelings
Ten Tips to Tackle Stress
- Make the connection – could the fact that you’re feeling under-the-weather be a response to too much pressure?
- Take a regular break – give yourself a brief break whenever you feel things are getting on top of you – get a soft drink or take a brief stroll.
- Learn to relax – Follow a simple routine to relax your muscles and slow your breathing.
- Be better organised – Make a list of jobs; tackle one task at a time; alternate dull tasks with interesting ones.
- Sort out your worries – Divide them into those that you can do something about (either now or soon) and those that you can’t. There’s no point in worrying about things that you can’t change.
- Change what you can – Look at the problems that can be resolved and get whatever help is necessary to sort them out. Learn to say “no”.
- Look at your long-term priorities – Step back and examine what it is about your life that’s giving you too much stress. What can you off-load, or change? How can you introduce a better balance between work, social life and home life? Is it time to reassess your priorities?
- Improve your lifestyle – Find time to eat properly, get plenty of exercise and enough sleep. Avoid drinking and smoking too much. However much you believe they can help you to relax, they’ll have the opposite effect.
- Confide in someone – Don’t keep emotions bottled up.
- Focus on the positive aspects of your life.
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