5 clear signs you're stressed – and what you could do about it?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Jayne Briggs MBACP Accredited, BSc (Hons) Therapeutic Couns. Cert. Couple Couns.
6th October, 20160 Comments
Most people get stressed from time to time, depending on what is going on in their lives at any given moment. What's important, however, is that you're able to identify when the stress is becoming problematic to your everyday life.
Whilst there are a number of ways you can spot the signs of stress, the following five are arguably the most notable.
1. You're struggling to sleep
One of the key indicators you're stressed is you're finding it difficult to sleep. When our head hits the pillow, we all think about what's happened throughout the day and what we've got to do, but if these thoughts are keeping you awake regularly because they're concerning you, there is a very good chance you're stressed.
2. You feel as though you're struggling to do everything
Whether it's work-related matters or home tasks, if you sit down and don't know where to start or you feel as though your 'to do' list is only getting longer no matter how much you do, this is so often a clear indication of stress.
Although some might believe it's normal to feel like this, it isn't if it's all you ever think about. As we said above, we all think about what's been done and what needs doing before we go to sleep, but if you continually feel worried that you can't do everything you need to, it could so easily be a sign of stress. Acknowledging this as an indicator to restructure your day to day schedule is something you could do to alleviate yourself from overload?
3. You have chest pains
One of the more worrying signs, if you feel as though your chest is getting tighter, aching or simply doesn't feel right, it could be time to start looking for a solution to stress.
Of course, these symptoms in particular can also be a sign of something more serious, so if you have any doubts, always get checked over by a medical professional as soon as possible.
4. You constantly feel under the weather
Now what 'under the weather' means depends on you as an individual, but you know your own body and if you don't feel right for more than a couple of days and believe you may be stressed, this could be all the confirmation you need.
When we're stressed, it affects us mentally, physically and emotionally, meaning it's not uncommon to have an upset stomach, feel nauseous, suffer from headaches and or experience muscular pain in other parts of our body, particularly the back? This is how stress is manifests itself in the physical form and is an indicator that it is time to stop and tackle whatever the cause of the stress is.
5. You don't want to leave your bed
We all have days where we never want to leave our beds because we know the day is going to be a busy one, but we manage to drag ourselves out and head to work.
But if you're finding it harder than normal – as in, you genuinely feel you couldn't possibly get out from under the covers and face the world – and you're getting this feeling on a regular basis, you need to face what you are trying to avoid and tackle it head on. If it means getting some professional help, then don’t hesitate to seek it before things go from bad to worse.
If you've read the above and feel you're stressed, I'm fully aware this realisation can only add to the problem. What's more, if you're thinking the next step forward to dealing with it is going to be to completely remove yourself from the stressful situations, this is likely to only make you even more stressed.
Whilst there are a lot of steps to follow to truly deal with stress, as we talked about previously, they all revolve around the fact you need to deal with anything you consider to be a problem or a challenge, head-on. If that means delegating the task to someone else, or drawing on the support of family or friends, then don’t be afraid to ask, just do it!
As tempting as it can be to shy away from a certain aspect as it's the easiest option and just continue as you are, the end result is going to simply be you becoming more stressed, something that could ultimately have a considerably negative impact on your life.
To deal with stress, you need to identify and come to terms with the fact you are stressed first. Once you've done this, you have to move on to how you can best deal with it for your own personal circumstances, which when done correctly can result in you leading a much more stress free and enjoyable life.
About the author
Jayne Briggs is an BACP accredited integrative counsellor, who has been in private practice for almost 11 years. She is also an AAMET accredited EFT (Emotional freedom technique) practitioner, stress management trainer, usui Reiki level 3 master teacher, AAMET accredited EFT practitioner and has a diploma in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).
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