A few things about stress
Good and bad stress
Stress affects everyone in different ways however, there are two major types of stress. Good stress that is beneficial and motivating and bad stress that causes anxiety and health problems.
Stress in small doses (in other words good stress) has many advantages. It can motivate you and spur you on to deal with everyday challenges and it helps you to learn new things and to engage in creative thinking. Research suggests that some stress can even improve how your heart works and protects your body from infection.
However, too much stress (or bad stress) can be detrimental to your emotional and physical health. Prolonged emotional stress can weaken your immune system and could cause high blood pressure, fatigue and depression. Bad stress usually occurs when you have too much stress in your life and it causes you to feel overwhelmed.
You can recognise that you are dealing with bad stress when you notice that you have trouble concentrating, have headaches and migraines, feel irritable, often feel angry and upset, have trouble sleeping or you might have noticed a change in your appetite (loss or increase).
Signs of too much stress
Too much stress can have an impact on all areas of your life including your personal and professional life, so recognising when you have too much stress is crucial. When you have too much stress in your life you might exhibit emotional, physical, cognitive and behavioural symptoms of stress.
Emotional symptoms could include: feeling overwhelmed, irritable, angry and moody and unhappy or you might notice that you feel bad about yourself, worthless and depressed.
The cognitive symptoms of stress could be: anxiety and constant worry, you might notice that you can only see the negative side of things or you could experience memory problems and find that you are unable to concentrate.
On a physical level, you might notice that you lack energy and often have headaches and migraines or that your immune system is low and you have frequent colds and infections. You might experience a loss of sex drive and have trouble sleeping.
When you have too much stress in your life your behaviour might change and you may find yourself procrastinating or consuming an increased level of alcohol or cigarettes or notice a change in your appetite. You might find yourself fidgeting and pacing more than usual and unable to relax.
By recognising the signs of too much stress you put yourself in an empowered position and now you can do something about it. You can find ways to reduce stress and feel happier.
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