• Sophie Ward

Stress Causing Distress?

There are many reasons we feel and experience stress but not many of us really understand what ‘stress’ really means or how to recognise the warning signs to prevent becoming overwhelmed. Causing further health issues.

Stress is a symptom of disruption of your physical, mental and emotional stress during our lives. 

It can sometimes drive us to perform our best or it can be terribly damaging to our wellbeing. 

Stress is often described as a ‘fight or flight’ response. When you have a stressful experience, your rain stimulates the production of adrenaline, increasing your heart and breathing rate. Readying your muscles for action.

The effects;

During periods of prolonged stress, your hormones and energy levels will become depleted and your immune system weakens. Too much stress can cause depression, panic, attacks, mood swings and phobias. 

There is no magic spell!

There is no magic formula or lesson to be learnt for a stress-free life. Though ignore this emotion or not acknowledgeing it is not the answer. Learning the signs and symptoms can really allow you to deal and use this emotion is a positive way or at the very least be able to manage it better. Working towards a more relaxed life. 

Once you engage with stress you can begin to minimise it’s influence on your life. 

The causes of stress in your life:

- Daily LIfe; life is busier than ever. With technology and the likelihood of break downs, more traffic so more traffic jams, high living costs with health and living bills etc. We are all juggling more than we can handle and that raises the chances of things going wrong or becoming complex.

- At Work; more than ever, we take more work on. Whether it’s to reach our career goals, to earn more or move up within our career. Long hours, long days and a mountain of work is enough to cause anyone a heap of stress.

- At Home; your home is supposed to be your retreat from the outside world. Though it can sometime cause us more stress. Family arguements, relationship problems, bills, leaks, house chores and even bad neighbours the list goes on. They all effect our stress levels. 

Common symptoms:

If you are experiencing more than 3 of the symptoms in each box then you are suffering from stress. You may have been ignoring these symptoms and have now become ‘everyday life’. Now is time to find the root cause and examine your symptoms more closely. 

Emotional symptoms:

The mental symptoms of stress can be extremely serious and should be dealt with immediately. 

- depression and mood swings

- anger, irritability, tearfulness

- loss of concentration

- decreased confidence and inability to make decisions

- addictstion such as alcoholism or drug dependency

Physical symptoms:

Physical symptoms of stress can become debilitating and worrying. You should treat your stress before it incapacitates you.  

- migraine or headache

- insomnia, disturbed sleep or nightmares

- dry mouth, grinding teeth

- muscle tension in neck, shoulders and back

- high blood pressure

- increased susceptibility to asthma attacks

- nausea, constipation or diarrohoea

- changes in eating habits and gastric ulcers

- irregular menstrual cycle 

- reduced sex drive

- fatigue and exhaustion

How do I lower stress levels?

There are many activities you can practise to help lower your stress levels such as:

- mindful activities: sewing, colouring, writing, craft work, mediation.

- taking ‘me’ time: a bubble bath, doing more of your hobby, doing more activities.

- planning & organising: don’t overload your tasks for the day. Prioritise and pace.

- ask for help and advice.

- call in the troops: extra hand can go a long way, a shoulder to cry on can help you unload and the company can do distract your mind.

- cut out overthinking: go with your gut feeling, don’t analyse or try to ‘work things out’. 

- journal: a great way to unload to a source that will store your information but you don’t feel guilty as you aren’t putting your problems onto someone who is dealing with their own issues and stresses. 

Little, simple changes can go along way. 

Remember to try and engage with stressful feeling to prevent them from growing out of control. Ignoring them may be a quick fix for the time but it doesn’t address the underlying issue.

We all deserve to live the best life possible. Don’t allow the world, life and an emotion zap your happiness and opportunities from you. 

We know from history that everything in the world works better when people agree, are a peace, are friends. Fighting and war only causes more upset and pain. It’s not about blocking out or fighting these emotions or any illness despite hating them we must learn to work with them, making friends and engage so we can make the best of the life we have been gifted.

I know with Christmas and winter upon us, like many this is the hardest part of the year for me. 

With presents, Christmas joy, celebrations, socialising, freezing cold weather, dark nights and morning. So, let’s work on building a strong foundation to conquer this season in the best way, keep stress levels low and enjoy as much as we can. 

Make your goal: the best winter season for years. 

I hope the above helps and if you want any help or advice please reach out or call a support care line such as: 

The Samaritans: 116 123 

Supportline: 01708 765200. The support line offer advice and help on stress, anxiety and depression. 

Thank you for reading.



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