Do you know when you are being stressed? We usually recognise major stressful events and react accordingly – there may be very obvious physical signs such as shaking, racing heart, headaches, being unable to eat; or mental and emotional reactions such as worrying, shouting, crying or becoming hysterical.
However life’s challenges may become cumulative in their effects, slowly building up so we don’t necessarily recognise that we are under stress. There will be a negative effect on your entire well-being, but the signs and symptoms may be less obvious. Indeed we may consider these effects as just part and parcel of life.
However some of these ‘effects’ may be signs of stress which, if left untreated or ignored may lead to further health challenges later in life.
How to Identify Physical and Mental Signs of Stress
1. Changes in sleeping habits.
Nobody knows your body better than you do. You know how much sleep you usually get on a good night, and if you find yourself sleeping significantly more or less than normal, chances are you’re suffering from some form of stress. A change in sleeping habits is an indication that something is keeping you in an unsettled state.
2. Frequent mood swings.
Take a moment to think back over the last few days and how you reacted to each situation that you had to deal with. Did you handle everything in a calm, controlled, effective manner? If not, you may be affected by stress issues. Frequent mood swings, especially if your mood has swung from frustration, anger and irritability to defensiveness, impatience and overreaction, are a clear indication that stress is working away within you.
Other moods and states of mind to look out for include:
- Feeling depressed
- Helplessness with things you can normally accomplish on your own
- Irrationality in dealing with decision-making
- Restlessness and anxiety
3. Nervous behaviour
When you start to show physical signs of nervous behaviour, it’s likely a sign that you have a secret stressor. Here are some signs of nervous behaviour which may give you some clues that all is not well.
- Excessive talkativeness
- Teeth grinding, (especially in your sleep)
- Nail biting
4. Indecisiveness and confusion.
If you’re usually able to think things through with a clear head and now you can’t, it’s likely that you’re struggling with stress. If you feel unable to make a decision, or you are paralysed by inaction then stress may be taking its toll.
Stress can result in you feeling out of control and overwhelmed, even in relation to minor day to day tasks or decisions.
The cumulative effects of ongoing stress can result in serious health challenges over time.
So it’s important to pay attention to what is going on with your body and emotions. Be aware of the signs mentioned above and if you recognise the situation then ensure you do whatever is necessary to reduce your stress.
If you would like to know more on how to reduce your stress then read here