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Spotting the signs of stress

The first step to coping with stress is spotting when it happens and being alert to how you feel and how well you are coping

Stress is part of normal life. It happens all the time but everyone’s experience of it is different. What may really cause one person to feel uptight another may find easy to cope with. This is why stress triggers can range from anything from speaking in front of a crowd to moving house or getting married. 

Although everyone reacts to stress differently there are some key physical and emotional tell tale signs.

Physical symptoms of stress

  • Headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Dizziness or sickness
  • Exhaustion      
  • Constant tiredness
  • Problems sleeping
  • Restlessness
  • Food cravings
  • Indigestion
  • Lack of appetite

Emotional symptoms of stress

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Lack of confidence
  • Disinterest in friends and activities
  • Dread of the future
  • Neglect
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling alone

Stress and behaviour

Stress also affects how people behave, you may find that you:

  • Become indecisive
  • Deny responsibilities
  • Avoid difficult situations
  • Frequently cry or feel upset
  • Have difficulty concentrating
  • Bite your nails
  • Become emotionally detached

The most important thing about stress is learning to deal with it in a healthy and constructive way, rather than turning to destructive habits like binge drinking and drug use. The only way to truly combat these issues is to recognise the roots of the problem, and tackle them one at a time. Soeak to your mentor or supervisor or tutor, and also book an appointment with your GP as soon as you notice yourself feeling stressed

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