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19 APRIL 2017

written by Mike

WHAT IS STRESS?

PART II – SYMPTOMS

 

So what are the signs of stress?

In the previous part, I talked about causes of stress. Let’s now discuss some of the symptoms.

You need to understand that everyone is different, some people will react to stress by sleeping all day long, others (like me) have insomnia. I guess, by the time you reach adulthood you should know (more or less) yourself and when you should be worried.

Let’s jump straight to it.

Anxiety

– you don’t want to talk to anyone, I would describe it as a consistent feel of unease. Constant worrying and feeling of helplessness.

Back pain

– this one can also be the result of bad posture and wrong sitting position.

Chest pains

– to that, I can relate. I would get them at work and in my bed at night.

It felt like a sharp stab, mini heart attack of sorts. It can be quite scary when you don’t know what the heck is happening.

Constipation or diarrhoea

– linked to junk food that you eat when you are stressed.

Stomach pains and lack of appetite can also occur.

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Depression 

– awful, horrible feeling. Some people deal with it better than others.

Depression is also quite hard to understand because people can’t see it. It’s not like a broken leg. For me, it lasted only a couple of weeks, but I felt like I didn’t want to do anything, I wanted to stay on the couch forever.

It was quite eye opening too because I always felt that I have a strong character, and I’m quite grounded. The worst were conversations with my parents:

“How can you feel sad? You have a good job, a great girlfriend, everything you wanted. Just stop making stuff up!”

It does make you feel bad because you start to think that something must be wrong with you, with your head.

With the understanding of my partner and research, I broke through it but it changed my perspective on many things. It helped me to understand how fragile our minds are.

A good friend of mine who was going through similar stuff had to seek professional help and was off work for few weeks. So do not ignore the symptoms and get help if you need to.

Fatigue 

– you are tired all the time. It clouds your thinking and abilities. I would doubt my listening skills or during some task, my mind would wander off.

Headaches and migraine

– absolute nightmare. A painful headache in the middle of your work will ruin your day. Not to mention that productivity is gone, and you will make silly mistakes. Tablets and painkillers can help but, in the long run, a lifestyle change will need to happen.

High blood pressure

– it didn’t happen to me, but my dad is a walking example. Sugar and junk food do not help either. Watch out for these symptoms because it can lead to diabetes, a so-called “lifestyle disease”.

Trouble sleeping or insomnia

– that plays right in my ballpark. I battled insomnia for a long time. It can ruin your mood and cloud your thinking. On a third day, you will be a “walking zombie”.

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Problems with relationships

– my partner has a patience of an angel. But I understand how stress can strain your relationship. Grumpiness, stupid and rude remarks, being short with another person. Or just keeping it all inside.

It will not make it pleasant for the other person to be around you.

Weight gain or loss

– overeating or lack of appetite. Both bad for your health. I cannot stress enough how junk food can affect your mood and your body. Not eating enough is also bad. It will result in fatigue, insomnia and stuff like migraines.

So these are a few indications of stress. You must understand that it is not black and white. It won’t be like,

“Oh, I got a headache, I must be stressed!”

No, it is always a mixture of things. But understanding the signs will help you to come up with a defence plan. Let’s have a look at what we can do to fight stress. I have two more parts about it, what to do and what not to do.

See you soon.

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