Are you Stressed?

So we know we might be stressed.

What are the symptoms of stress?

Stress is a complex, multifactorial condition, which affects a person on several levels. You may start off feeling one or two symptoms – however this condition is progressive if left untreated, so the longer you are stressed, the more symptoms you may experience, and the more prone you will be to other opportunistic illnesses. Even mild levels of stress have been linked to long term disability, so it is better to prevent stress from occurring than waiting for it to become a major issue .(htpp://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2011/7554.html).

These are some of the symptoms: –

Cognitively, you might notice…

You might find it hard to concentrate.

You worry a lot more than usual.

You feel down frequently, or you feel over anxious frequently.

Emotionally, you might notice…

You feel tearful.

You feel angry.

You feel less confidence than usual.

Physically you might notice…

You feel more aches and pains, more tension in your muscles and you may grind your teeth.

You experience panic attacks and nausea.

You experience constipation, diarrhoea or IBS.

You feel indigestion, heartburn or stomach ulcers.

You feel physically tired even after rest.

Behaviourally, you might notice…

You feel you have no time for relaxation or pleasurable activities.

You become forgetful and prone to accidents.

You are absent from work more often.

You suffer from insomnia or wake up tired from asleep.

Your behaviour and speech become more aggressive.

Information from International Stress Management Association UK.

Ok so you recognise yourself in some of these conditions or behaviours, what can you do?

Treatments for Stress              

For most of us, once we recognise that something needs changing in our lives; we can look to see what we can change. It may need the support of friends/ family or doctor to help us move forward in the right direction. It might be diet that needs to be healthier, looking at ways we can reduce the amount we drink or smoke, maybe drinking more water.  Taking some form of exercise (always gets the endorphins going), looking at our working day – that we don’t need to be running around like a headless chicken or can we delegate?  Can we find a bit of me time, are you the type that’s always giving? We need to boost our own energy levels as well.

All depending on our levels of stress, it may be that more help is needed; it could be talking to someone (Counselling, Psychotherapy, Anger management, Life Coaching). This is where as Reflexologists we know our therapy might be of help in reducing our stress and anxiety levels. By working the feet or hands, full of nerve endings, we are boosting the circulation, helping to give a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing. You may sleep deeper/ better, so all in all your mood may improve and feel your life is moving in the right direction.

For some people the Alexander Technique may help, for others medical help may be needed with medication.

With ever increasing levels of stress, it is important for people to take responsibility for their own lifestyles and healthcare needs; if we can, we are in a much stronger position to deal with what life throws at us.

Teresa Murray MAR

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