Signs of Stress & How to Diffuse it to prevent illnessJun 11, 2023
Stress is, well, stressful. And it shows up in different ways that may not be initially identified as attributable to stress.
Some of us notice more frequent headaches, stomach aches or other physical symptoms. Others notice increased irritability, racing thoughts (I call this brain spinning) or feeling afraid or anxious constantly when there’s no clear trigger.
The best way to prevent acute stressors from becoming chronic stress (which leads to burnout, injury, illness, mistakes and mental health diagnoses) - is to interrupt the stress cycle by:
1. Identifying stress
- Interrupting the acute --> chronic process (this usually occurs when we’re missing the identification step)
- Integrating tools for success to slash stress and create a well rounded and balanced work and home life (aka to reset, reframe and re-energize). This often can be accomplished with sharing and connecting with others (including colleagues trained in peer support, coaches, therapists, or trained healthcare professionals) to unload the burden of acute stressors before they become chronic.
Here are some easy tips to identifying stress in yourself AND your colleagues and work teams:
PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF STRESS:
- Sleep issues (falling or staying asleep)
- Restlessness (can’t relax even when nothing scheduled)
- Aches and pains including back, neck or other joint pain
- Muscle spasms
- Jaw clenching
- Chest pain or a feeling like your heart is racing
- Headaches, lightheadedness, numbness or tingling
- Dizziness or shaking
- High blood pressure
- Stomach or digestive problems
- Trouble having sex or being interested in it or other pleasurable activities
EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS OF STRESS:
- Mind racing / incessant mind chatter (can’t shut brain off)
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating
- Forgetting or word finding difficulty
- Bleak / hopeless / helpless outlook
- Feeling blah or blue with no clear reason
- Constantly moving or hurrying, can’t slow down easily
- Fatigue, exhaustion
- Irritable, impatient, easily frustrated or upset/angry/teary
- Craving sugar and/or high fat foods
To interrupt – consider asking a curious question and offering to help (both with yourself and others). When you see something, say something.
To integrate: email [email protected] to set up a consultation to talk about what's specifically causing your current stress and how coaching can help. You'll leave this call with tools to start using today and new knowledge on how to stay healthy, even in times of stress.
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