Suffering with stress
There are many sources of stress that most of us will encounter at some stage in our lives. Some common causes of stress are exams, workplace, relationships and financial worries amongst others.
Stress is a natural response to events or situations. Different people respond in different ways.
People who suffer with depression or anxiety will likely not cope as well with stress as those who don’t. There are also genetic tendencies to coping abilities. People who have good family and friend support usually cope better with stress.
Signs of stress
Stress can be acute or chronic. An event such as a car accident can cause a sudden stress response. Sometimes if you have been feeling a certain way for a while you may not realise that you suffering with chronic stress. The following signs can occur when suffering with stress;
- Shaking, sweating
- Headache, muscle pain
- Difficulty eating, loose bowel motions
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulty concentrating
- Getting upset easily
If you notice these signs in yourself it is important to acknowledge that you may be suffering with stress and that there are things you can do to help.
What to do if you are suffering with stress
- Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your Doctor or a psychologist or counsellor who can help work through sources of stress and how to cope. Having someone you can be totally honest with who can listen and offer advice is very helpful for most people.
- Take care of yourself. You’ve probably heard it before but it is important to ensure you have adequate sleep and eat a healthy diet. Get outside in the sun for part of the day and get some enjoyable exercise in. The release of good endorphins will help you feel better. Do what you enjoy. Read a book, listen to music or anything else you enjoy.
- Avoid activities that make stress worse. Drinking alcohol excessively and smoking are two things people do to help with stress. In the long run they actually make the issue worse so it’s best to avoid these and focus on the things that actually help.
Long term impact of stress
There is increased risk of medical conditions such as heart disease, psoriasis, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and others in people suffering with stress for a long period of time.
Depression, anxiety and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can occur due to stress and stressful events and these can be very damaging to a person’s overall health.