Unfortunately, stress has become such a constant presence in our society. It’s come to the point that many of us don’t recognise the signs of stress in ourselves because it has simply become the way we live our lives.

Stress has been shown to have significant and very concerning health effects in the long term and it impairs our effectiveness and productivity.

So, would you recognise the signs of stress in yourself?

While stress manifests differently in different people, and many of the signs of stress can be caused by other factors – most people who are experiencing the negative effects of stress will experience a collection of many of the following signs.

  1. Difficulty thinking clearly or focusing
    The chemical effects of stress in our brain causes our thinking brain to not operate at it’s prime.
  2. Reduced emotional control
    People who are experiencing the effects of stress tend to have emotional responses to events, situations or communications from others that are outside of how they would like to respond. Responses such as anger and being upset or crying are examples of this.
  3. Difficulty seeing the big picture, long term perspective or way forward.
    People who are experiencing the effects of stress often have their perspective narrowed towards the current situation and lose perspective of the bigger picture.
  4. Reduced sense of joy
    People who have experiencing stress often find it difficult to find pleasure in the simple day to day elements of life. Examples would be pleasure from playing with your child or taking a walk in the sun.
  5. Racing mind and difficulty relaxing
    Many people who are experiencing the effects of stress find it difficult to “switch off” and to take time to relax.
  6. Difficulty Sleeping
    Sleeping is one of the most important elements of our wellbeing and is often one of the “casualties” of stress.
  7. Less than Ideal Diet
    Stress has differing effects on diet.  For some people, they crave “comfort” foods when they are stressed, and others tend to lose their appetite. For either group, nutritious food and consciously eating healthy food tends to reduce.
  8. Feeling tired or exhausted most of the time
    Living in a state of stress is tiring. This ties in with many of the other signs, but people who experience prolonged stress generally feel tired, even if they push through that feeling and keep operating at the same level.
  9. Physical signs or illness
    Stress places our bodies under a great deal of strain.  People who are being affected by stress can experience raised incidents of illnesses or their bodies can show the stress through pain or discomfort, such as shoulder pain or digestive issues. Stress can also have dramatic effects on libido.
  10. Short term “feel better” behaviours that can be damaging long term.
    When people are struggling with stress, they can adopt “in the moment” behaviours that can cause damage long term. Examples could be drinking excessively, gambling, drug taking, poor diet, lack of activity or lack of engagement with others.

While this list is not comprehensive, it does give a wide-ranging perspective of how stress can manifest. If you are experiencing the signs of stress, I would encourage you to seek education and support.

Awareness of the signs of stress in yourself is the first step towards reducing or removing the negative effects of stress in your life. By being aware of the signs of stress in yourself early, you are better equipping yourself to towards the empowering and uplifting benefits of stress resilience.

If you would like more information or to discuss the stress management and stress resilience of you or your staff, please email me at: info@jodiwoelkerling.com.