Life can be demanding – hassles, deadlines, and every day frustrations. Stress has become so common that many believe it is a way of life. Stress in small doses isn’t necessarily bad but operating at a high stress level for
long periods of time can be damaging. You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.
The body protects itself by triggering stress responses to situations such as defending yourself or fleeing from a dangerous situation. It also helps you to stay focused and alert. But stress in sustained timeframes can cause major damage to your health, relationships and overall quality of life.
The following are just some of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress.
Inability to concentrate
Anxious or uncontrolled thoughts
Sense of loneliness and despair
Depression or general unhappiness
Aches and pains
Eating more or less
Sleeping too much or too little
Using alcohol or drugs to relax
Because of the damaging effects of stress it is important to know recognize when you are at your limit. The following are a few things you can do to helpmanage stress:
Control how you respond – you can’t control what happens to you but you can control how you respond. Work to take charge of your thoughts, emotions, environment, and the overall way you deal with problems.
Relaxation can help – common relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help achieve a state of restfulness. This can lead to an overall reduction in your everyday stress levels and a boost in your positive feelings. It also increases your ability to stay calm and collected under pressure.
Know what causes stress – learn to spot your stressors. Try to avoid them if you can. If that is not possible recognize the effect stressors have on you and and try to stay in control when the pressure builds.