Symptoms of Stress
Over the last few decades people have become accustomed to high levels of stress, and so most individuals do not consider it to be anything out of the ordinary. This can be a dangerous viewpoint though, as prolonged stress can be detrimental to both our body and mind.
Physical Stress Symptoms
Stress causes our immune system to become weakened, which allows minor illnesses that would not normally have an effect on us to really bring us down.
A simple cold can escalate into the flu or a lung infection. In addition, stress can cause sleep problems and fatigue which can go on to produce mood swings and irritability.
Aches and pains, and especially headaches become more frequent, because stress causes the involuntary contraction of the neck and shoulder muscles. Most of the time we don’t even realise we are tensing our muscles until they begin to ache.
Stress also has a big effect on how our internal organs work. For example, the heart beats faster and the blood pressure increases during a stressful period.
Long-term, this can result in strokes and some types of heart disease. The stomach is another organ that suffers due to stress; ulcers and acid indigestion can not only cause chronic pain but can lead to serious internal bleeding.
Mental/Emotional Symptoms of Stress
There are many emotional and psychological problems that result from stress, in addition to the physical ones. Anger is one such problem especially, if the individual feels frustrated or isolated by a stressful situation.
Minor problems such as unhappiness and impatience for things to get back to normal can quickly grow into more serious problems, such as clinical depression and anxiety disorders.
These emotional problems can affect the people around the stressed person just as much as they affect the person themselves.
Loved ones can get pushed away, and the stressed individual may withdraw from society and their life in general.
Eventually friendships break down, and the individual becomes more stressed and withdrawn because of their lack of social interaction; it’s a never-ending cycle.
Fortunately, society is waking up to the effects that stress can have on the population. Years ago employers used to think you were weak and a bad employee if you had time of work because you were suffering from stress, however today, many companies run stress management courses for their workers so that they can effectively deal with the stresses of their work life.
Similarly, employees used to consider themselves weak and inadequate if they could not cope with their work load and daily life, but now many more people are owning up to suffering from stress, and are being treated for it in a way that suit them.
Because of this, big companies that employ people to do highly-stressful jobs have begun adding gyms and other leisure activity areas to the work place, so that employees can spend time working out or just relaxing while at work.
Various American companies have reported that the productivity of their employees increased when they introduced ‘stress-relief’ areas in the workplace. Big companies have also found that by taking on more general assistants, it takes the pressure off highly stressed employees, and so the amount of time that people have off sick due to stress decreased dramatically.
Most people report that their job is the number one stress factor in their life. Many people today are financially dependant on their chosen employment, and so feel that they need to excel in order to ensure job stability.
However, this can have an adverse affect on job satisfaction, and if you don’t enjoy your work you will become stressed whenever you are there. Working excessive hours or at the weekend, and taking work home to finish are prime examples of how the workplace can become a stressful environment.
Insurance companies are also starting to realise that the number of individuals claiming for loss of earnings are doing so because of stress, and so are beginning to cover the costs of stress reduction and stress management courses for individuals off work because of stress.
Even with these advances, it is still largely down to the individual to control the amount of stress within their life. People need to recognize the symptoms of stress early, so that changes can be made to remedy the problem. Small things such as leaving a bit of spare time in their social diary to relax or spend time as a family will make a huge difference to the individuals’ stress levels.
Regardless of what you do to try and reduce the amount of stress you are under, you will never get rid of it completely, and in some ways this is a good thing. Stress can motivate us to work hard and achieve what we want to achieve, but if we allow it to become out of control it can cause serious problems.
Performance coaching for busy executives is a great way to improve your productivity and performance while reducing and managing stress.
If you want to learn how to become a life coach, just follow the link to a great resource website.
Warning: Stress symptoms can be associated with serious medical conditions. The stress management information and techniques in this section are provided as general guidelines for informational purposes only. You should seek the help of qualified medical professionals if you have health or mental concerns over stress. You should also consult with your health care provider before making major changes in your diet or exercise levels.
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