What is stress?
Stress is when a person feels under pressure, anxious, angry, have feelings of complete frustration when placed in certain situations. Everyone reacts to situations differently, so circumstances can have variable effects on individuals and to varying degrees too.
Some stress in life is normal and we have an inbuilt coping mechanism to survive. indeed small bursts of stress can push us on to achieve in difficult situations.
We feel stress and anxiety when we fear that we are unable to cope adequately with given situations. Pressure within the family, financial worries, employment and work-related issues, a death, divorce, even child-birth, can all cause stress in varying degrees. There are many reasons for stress and each individual will suffer from stress whether through a major issue or in daily minor activities and events.
How do I know I’m stressed?
As well as feelings of anxiety, stress can have various physical effects which include:
- problems sleeping
- feelings of nausia
- aching muscles
- poor concentration
- change in heart rythm
- decreased sex drive
The best way to deal with stress is to try to understand why you feel like this?
If you know that certain situations cause stress then It is not impossible to work out a way to reduce the anxiety and misery by having a strategy in place.
First of all realising what situations make you feel stressed and knowing how you react to them is a starting point for managing your feelings and looking at alternative ways to deal with them.
Think about what makes you feel stressed, even write it down, and then think of ways that you could reduce your stress. Thinking ahead of situations that could arise and cause anxiety give you an opportunity to pre-plan your reactions and may help you to cope by looking at other options.
You should also consider talking over anything that is troubling you with someone you can trust and confide in, whether it is a partner, friend, colleague or a professional. This will prevent a build up of tension and stress becoming overpowering.
How can I support someone who is stressed?
- Listen to there worries, anxieties, troubles.
- Encourage relaxation or ‘time-out’ away from pressures
- It may be that they need to see their GP who can advise about professional help
- Ensure that the person is eating a balanced diet, and that they are not smoking or taking too much alcohol
- Encouraging exercise is a good stress release and can also be a social event which can raise self-esteem. A simple walk or swimming, jogging, cycling, etc are all healthy options to raising confidence and reducing stress.