Stress is a completely normal part of being human. It can help us focus, motivate us and on an instinctual level, it tells us when we’re in danger. The signs of stress affects us all in many different ways; it all depends on the person. For example, some people may be perfectly at home flying in an airplane while others might find it stressful.
Technically speaking, being stressed out isn’t a mental health condition but if it’s not managed correctly, experiencing continued stressors can lead to anxiety and depression. So, it’s important to manage your stress before it evolves into a bigger problem.
What happens when you become stressed out?
The symptoms of stress are the body’s natural defense when we feel as if we’re in danger. Initially, we have two responses to a dangerous situation.
Physically, our blood pressure increases, we sweat, and we can have headaches, stomach aches and a tightness in the chest and shortness of breath.
The other response is a behavioral one. It’s our inner voice telling us to get out of whatever dangerous situation we’re in.
Tips on how to manage the signs of stress
- Create a routine yourself. Having a routine creates control. This could be as simple as setting your alarm and going for a walk.
- Don’t believe the worst possible outcome to every situation that you think up in your head.
- It’s okay to say ‘no’ to people. You can’t please everyone.
- It is not uncommon to take on a task merely to seek approval or be accepted. If you have the time and ability to undertake the task requested, that is fine, but if the request is unreasonable or makes you uncomfortable, it is okay to say ‘no’.
- Slow things down and take it easy.
- Pick a sport or physical hobby that you like and get some exercise.
- Don’t bottle your emotions up. If you have an issue with somebody or about a particular situation then speak up. It won’t always be easy but emotionally you’ll feel better.
- Be kind to yourself and do something fun.
- Don’t waste your time or energy dwelling on past mistakes. Learn and move on.
A mismanagement of stress can lead to long term physical and mental health issues ranging from anxiety and depression, hypertension and sleeping problems. So, if you’re feeling stressed out, feel free to get in contract with one of our counsellors at MindHealth on 1300 029 131 or access online counselling and get back on track.