A mixture of long working hours, no breaks, not enough time to think of a sandwich, much less eat it, demanding families, personal commitments and other demands thrown in at random, do nothing for your health, wellbeing, nor your work life balance.
Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. For others they don’t know whether they are actually stressed or not. Perhaps they’re just in denial.
The growing demands of family, career, and finances come together to leave us weighed down by stress. How to know if you are stressed varies depending on the person involved. What may produce stress for one person may be just considered typical everyday activities for another.
We all experience the effect of stress at times. We go through stress for lots of reasons. An emergency can create stress, but so can everyday issues, like worrying about work or money, relationship or family problems. Although a certain amount of stress is normal, too much can contribute to physical and psychological health problems. We will have to deal with these problems, or see them get worse, whether we admit to being stressed or not.
Are you aware when you are stressed? Do you even perceive when your stress levels are raising? Not all the time!
If you think you have no stress, you are more than likely not aware of how stress is affecting you, but it’s more than likely is, but you’re in denial. You see yourself as a strong person, so no way can you be stressed. Alas the stronger you think you are, the harder you may find that stress hits you with a powerful shock. We can all handle just so much, but when we pass our level, then bang it brings us crashing down.
So no matter how mentally, physically and emotionally strong, capable and adaptable, you may not realise that you are stressed, but you are. You simply are not aware of how stress is affecting you below the surface. Once you are aware of the fact you are stressed you will be able to find good methods of coping with it.
You possibly aren’t aware that you’re stressed because you are so absorbed in your life and your lifestyle, that you have learned to take no notice of all the signs of stress – tetchiness, weariness, low levels of tolerance, narrow-minded approaches to the challenges you face, in-ability to make the right decisions, sluggish performance, drowsiness, bad eating habits and unkempt appearance.
Just watch out because stress may just creep up on you inch by inch. Stress may be building up but you don’t notice the changes.
The best way how to know if you are stressed is to listen to your body. When your body is stressed, your muscles become tight and you’ll know that something just doesn’t feel right.
Stress will bring into being a variety of physical and emotional symptoms that are hard not to notice if you pay attention.
Another signal to look for to assess whether you are stressed is changes in your sleep patterns. If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, are restless while asleep, awaken many times through the night, or find it a real effort to get out of bed in the morning, stress may very well be already in your life.
There are many physical symptoms that can identify stress. High blood pressure, stomach problems, chest pains, increased heart rate, headaches, lowered sex drive, and countless other physical signs can be signals of stress.
Maybe your emotions are showing that you are stressed. Having bouts of depression, the inability to concentrate, anxiety attacks, and a loss in interest in activities you would normally enjoy could all be linked to stress.
Here are a few other symptoms:
• You constantly feel drained
• You can’t stop your mind focusing on your work
• You feel guilt every time you take some time off work
• You feel guilty how little time you spend with your children
• You feel emotionally exhausted.
• You feel the whole world is against you
• Your stomach hurts; your head aches; you catch colds frequently.
• You constantly lose your temper, snapping at your colleagues, your spouse, your kids.
• People keep asking you if you are ok
• You feel like your to do list has got out of control
• You feel like just running away
• You feel helpless, out of control.
When high levels of stress are consistently present in our lives we tend to submit to the pressure. As a result, we suffer physically, emotionally, and even socially.
However, there are many steps you can take to combat stress properly. Introducing daily physical exercise into your life will have a big impact on stress – reducing stress levels and alleviating much of the tension in your body. No matter what is going on in your life, it is vital to take time for yourself. If you don’t give your body and mind some relaxation time you will burn out; we can’t function at high levels of stress for the foreseeable future.
In my Book – Combat Stress The Healthy Lifestyle Way you will find a Stress Test Questionnaire that will be able to confirm whether you are stressed or not. You will also find many tools and techniques that you could use to reduce the hold stress has on your life. With the fact we have reduced the price to £2.99 what have you got to lose, apart from the stress in your life.
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Larry, stress is my best friend. It lives with me day and night. I’m not sure I would know what to do with myself if I didn’t have stress. It definitely would be different, I can assure you of that:)
Mary, it is true that stress can focus and fuel your drive and inspiration, bringing out your best and keep you going, helping you find inspired answers to address issues, but too much stress can drive you to burnout resulting in a breakdown of physical, mental and emotional well being.
I use to be that guy, you know, the one that thought that he was unaffected by stress. Turns out I had my head… in the sand. 🙂 Some of us are just able to shed stress more easily than others. Plus, there’s the added bonus that people don’t think about–happiness can bring stress as well. Not in the bad way, but still, it has an affect on the body and mind.
A certain level of stress can actually be a positive thing. As we both know TODD stress can help us feel more energetic, more alert and able to deal with challenges that life throws at us. When we lift weights it helps us channelourenergy positively to result in performances that probably couldn’t be achieved without that extra edge. But what we need to avoid is stress overload. Too much stress can leave us feeling exhausted, irritable and out of control.
To tell you the truth, I never really felt much stress until I started working for myself. Realizing that my income is totally on me, and thus if I ever want any time off I really have to crank it out, is stressful as sin. When it’s running good life is sweet; when it’s slow, it’s a scary thing indeed. So yeah, stress is that monkey on my back, shoulders, neck, arms, legs,… name it.
Thank you for Sharing that Mitch. I am sure most of us self employed type will totally agree with your words. When your business relies on your own efforts, you can’t let stress bog you down because when you’re over-loaded with stress it’s hard to keep going and create success, let alone put food on the table.