Describe Common Signs And Indicators Of Stress

This blog gives a detailed description of common signs and indicators of stress.

What Is Stress?

Stress is the reaction of your body towards pressure from certain events or situations. It can manifest itself as a mental, physical, or emotional response.

Every one of us has to deal with stress at some stage in our lives. Perhaps, it is the job or school, family issues, or financial troubles. These are some of the common triggers. According to research, almost half of the entire American population is facing moderate stress.

Some stress is a natural and healthy occurrence as it makes you aware of the surroundings and increases your focus on the things that require attention. That said, in some instances, stress can increase your strength and ability to get the tasks done.

Common Signs and Indicators of Stress

Acute Stress

At times you feel stressed for a short duration; it is natural and nothing to be worried about. For instance, when you are required to submit a project, or you need to talk in front of a bunch of fellows. Perhaps you feel a tingly feeling in your stomach or your hands get sweaty. These are the physical manifestations of acute stress.

Chronic Stress

If the stress in your life is persistent or stays for long durations, possibly hindering and damaging other parts of your life, then this is chronic stress. It can affect your emotional, mental, or physical health. Hence, you need to be aware of the early warning signs and indicators of stress to control and manage it.

The physical manifestation of chronic stress exhibits as

  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping or oversleeping
  • Digestive problems
  • Muscle strain or tension
  • High blood pressure
  • Changes in libido

The emotional manifestation of chronic stress shows as:

  • Anxiety or depression.
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping excessively.
  • Racing thoughts and constant worries.
  • Anger, restlessness, or irritability.
  • Feeling unmotivated, overwhelmed, or unfocused.

 Sometimes stress can be too much to handle alone. If you are at a stage where you just cannot manage stress, you should consult a medical specialist. Seek the help of your primary doctor, they can help you determine the cause of your stress and diagnose whether it is just stress or any other mental disorder.

They may even refer you to a mental health consultant and offer you effective tools and resources.

Some other signs of stress overload may include the following:

  • No time for leisure and relaxing activities.
  • Susceptibility to accidents, and incidents of forgetfulness.
  • Workaholic behavior
  • Absenteeism
  • Poor time management or/and lack of standards at work,
  • Self-neglect/change in outlook.
  • Social withdrawal
  • High reliability to smoking, alcohol, caffeine, or recreational and illegal drugs.

Causes of Stress

Stress can be unique to everyone, in the sense that there can be various causes of it. Some can be stressed because their friendship is being challenged. 

Some causes of stress are given below:

  • When faced with big changes.
  • When a person is under lots of pressure.
  • Uncertain times.
  • Worries about any specific thing.
  • Loss or lack of control over any situation.
  • Overwhelming feeling due to responsibilities.
  • Not adequate activities, work, or change in one’s life.

However, several causes of stress can impact negatively in their lives, including:

  • Losing jobs
  • Being bullied
  • Working to the point of exhaustion and burnout.
  • Relationship or marriage problems.
  • Breakups and divorce
  • Difficulty in academics.
  • Death of a close one.
  • Busy schedule.
  • Recent move.

Everybody reacts the same way to stressors. This is because the body responds to dealing with challenging and tough times. It can cause respiratory, hormonal, cardiovascular, and nervous system changes. For instance, stress can make the heart pace faster, breathe heavily, tense, and sweat. It can also have a boost of energy, eliciting the body’s fight or flight response. This chemical reaction prepares the body for a physical reaction, as it is under attack. This type of stress reaction had helped our ancestors to survive in difficult ancient times.

How Is Stress Diagnosed?

If you are facing troubles in managing stress or your response to difficult events, and it gets more intense and prolonged than usual, it is sensible to talk to a specialist.

The doctor might ask you the questions regarding:

  • If any traumatic event has happened recently?
  • If your stress levels are increased than normal when you react to certain things at work or at home?
  • If your stress is as a response to grief?
  • Is any mental disorder is being presented in the form of stress?7

Based on the above questions and follow-up questions, the medical practitioner can recommend certain stress management tricks and techniques.

Stress Management

Stress can be curbed when it is effectively managed, and it won’t even negatively impact your life if you adopt a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Eat and drink healthy and nutritious items. Some people are in a habit of handling stress by overeating junk food or drinking alcohol or smoking. These actions are a temporary solution but actually yield long-term problems. Caffeine also increases stress. Taking a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet can help in combating stress.
  2. Stop nicotine and tobacco products. People who are habitual of nicotine as a stress reliever. However, nicotine can actually cause more physical arousal and reduce blood flow, affecting breathing.
  3. Exercise regularly. Physical health and movement exercises can be powerful stress relievers. Try strengthening exercises, yoga, or Tai Chi, and set reasonable goals for yourself. Aerobic exercises help in releasing endorphins, responsible for a positive attitude.
  4. Reduce your triggers. Some people are prone to certain things which increase their stress levels. If you are one of the many people whose life is filled with so many demands and lack time. You can free time by practicing time management exercises, setting priorities, asking for help when needed, and reserving time for self-care.
  5. Learn and Practice Relaxation Strategies. You can diffuse your daily stress by learning and practicing various relaxation exercises and techniques. Breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, mindfulness meditation, and visualization practices can help in relieving stress. There are also paid and unpaid apps on your smartphones that can help in guided meditation, or hypnosis meditation.
  6. Live by your values. You should reflect on your beliefs and no matter how busy life gets, make sure to value them whenever you take up any new tasks.
  7. Be assertive. Learn to say no when necessary and don’t feel sorry about it. You don’t always need to please people, learn to prioritize yourself.
  8. Value yourself. When you feel overwhelmed, keep reminding yourself that you are doing to your best potential. Have a good sense of self-esteem which isn’t affected by the amount of work you do.
  9. Set manageable goals. Be mindful that you cannot control everything; there will always be some sort of stress at work and at home and you need to go easy on yourself while making short, achievable goals for yourself.

Some relaxation and stress reduction methods include:

  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing exercises.
  • Relaxation activities like muscle relaxing exercises, mental imagery relaxation.
  • Counseling
  • Mindfulness meditation

Your healthcare provider can also help you by giving personalized suggestions and techniques.

Biofeedback

Biofeedback can help stress reduction by offering information regarding heart rate, muscle tensions, and other vital signs to help the person relax. It helps you in gaining control over body functions that may cause physical pain and tension.

Conclusion

This blog gave a detailed description of common signs and indicators of stress.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Describe Common Signs And Indicators Of Stress

What are the most common causes of stress?

  • When faced with big changes.
  • When a person is under lots of pressure.
  • Uncertain times.
  • Worries about any specific thing.
  • Loss or lack of control over any situation.
  • Overwhelming feeling due to responsibilities.
  • Not adequate activities, work, or change in one’s life.

How do you identify stress?

Some of the behavioral signs to identify stress are given below:

  • No time for leisure and relaxing activities.
  • Susceptibility to accidents, and incidents of forgetfulness.
  • Workaholic behavior
  • Absenteeism
  • Poor time management or/and lack of standards at work,
  • Self-neglect/change in outlook.
  • Social withdrawal
  • High reliability to smoking, alcohol, caffeine, or recreational and illegal drugs.

What are the symptoms of stress?

Some common symptoms of stress overload are given below:

  • Excessive worries.
  • Panic attacks
  • Overeating/oversleeping
  • Constant pressure
  • Smoking
  • Withdrawal from social situations
  • Depression

What are 5 emotional signs of stress?

  • Anxiety or depression.
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping excessively.
  • Racing thoughts and constant worries.
  • Anger, restlessness, or irritability.
  • Feeling unmotivated, overwhelmed, or unfocused.

How do I get rid of stress?

  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing exercises.
  • Relaxation activities like muscle relaxing exercises, mental imagery relaxation.
  • Counseling
  • Mindfulness meditation

References

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/8133-stress-10-ways-to-ease-stress

https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/what-is-stress

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