Does your day-to-day life bring you constant stress?
How do you react to stress?
Do you enjoy the challenge or do you feel out of control or hopeless?
What activities do I use to relieve stress?
I was watching a man the other day being pushed to his limits. His wife was constantly calling his name, and she was asking him to do stuff for her on a constant basis. Pass me my tea, please make me my lunch, take me to the toilet, move my cushion …. the number of requests he was having to respond to was never ending. Now it wasn’t her fault, she has dementia, and really doesn’t know what she’s doing. He, the loving husband wants to tend to her needs, to look after her, to try and make her as comfortable as possible. But what are the consequences to him?
Others around him believe he is severely stressed. He is far more short tempered, and he shows little interest in much else in his life. He has given up sleeping in his bed, has broken his routine of washing daily, and he avoids going out. His life is wrapped about caring for his wife, my mother.
Yes, I’m talking about my Dad. The most fantastic, loving man you will ever meet. He is my mentor, responsible for the man I am today. My love for sports, my abilities in sales and marketing, my desires to make the difference for other people, are all things that my dad past down to me.
Up until a year ago, he was the healthiest guy you could ever meet. In age he may have been 83, but in health, fitness, mind and soul he was a young person and everyone he met would be so impressed with him, and everything about him.
He is aging fast in front of my eyes.
It can’t be surprising. It seems to him that my mum constantly just wants a piece of him. Just one more question, just one more second of his time, just one more request.
All he wants is a little peace and quiet.
There is no doubts in my mind my dad is stressed to his limits.
But he doesn’t see it.
In this article I am going to give you some tips on how to see when you are stressed.
Modern life is full of problems, irritations, deadlines, frustrations, and stresses. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has simply become a way of life. Your mind and body pay the price.
You can guard yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its damaging effects.
It’s important to learn how to recognize when your stress levels are out of control.
In my dad’s case stress has just crept up on him. He has just got used to it. It feels familiar even normal. He has no idea how much it’s affecting him, or the consequences it is having.
The signs and symptoms of stress overload can be so varied. Stress affects the mind, body, and behaviour in many ways, and everyone experiences stress differently.
Psychologist Connie Lillas uses a driving analogy to describe the three most common ways people respond when they’re overwhelmed by stress:
In my dad he shows a withdrawn response. He has shut down, shows very little energy or emotion.
Here are some very common results of stress.
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor judgment
- Seeing only the negative
- Anxious or racing thoughts
- Constant worrying
- Irritability or short temper
- Agitation, inability to relax
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Sense of loneliness and isolation
- Depression or general unhappiness
- Aches and pains
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea, dizziness
- Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
- Loss of sex drive
- Frequent colds
- Eating more or less
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Isolating yourself from others
- Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
- Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
- Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
For my dad, these are the signs that should be telling him that yes indeed he is stressed, and in fact he’s reached the danger zone.
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased energy
- Loss of interest in things he once enjoyed
- Feeling generally overwhelmed and hopeless
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of guilt
- Irritable a lot of the time
- Health problems
- Physical ailments
- Lacking desire for conversation
The good news is that whether you are stressed or actually depressed, there is a way out. There are ways to lessen the effects of stressful situations and to eliminate the harmful cumulative effects that are interfering with your ability to create the life you really want.
Maybe I just differently than some people? Maybe things roll of my back easier? Maybe I learned to handle stress at a really young age?
There have been stressful times in my life. But I learnt to handle stress, and then became a coach to teach others how to as well.
One thing else my dad taught me was how to give thanks. Showing gratitude has for a long time been an important part of my life.
As my way of honouring and serving the man that I love I want to not just help him, but also put more of myself back into helping those who are facing the damage brought on by stress.
I have now taken my eBook ‘Combat Stress the Healthy Lifestyle Way, out from all the places it was being sold, and here provide you with it now as a free download. All I ask is you honour me with just a comment about how it has helped you once you’ve had the opportunity to read it.
I am now beginning working on a new book Getting a Grip on Stress, and I look forward to bringing this to the world once it is completed.
Please use this download to help you deal with stress, I assure you there are no catches, no list building tactics … it’s my way of making the difference, as my father taught me to do.