Do you ever find yourself biting your nails or having cold sweats despite being in an air conditioned room? Or perhaps feel like the insides of your stomach are inside out as if you were just on a roller coaster ride?
That is probably because you’re feeling overwhelmed, pressured or the topic of today’s blog post – stressed out.
Stress is a form of physiological and psychological response that the body develops in response to internal or external circumstances (MI Blues Perspectives).
Internal circumstances come from within. Do you ever experience distressing thoughts, any forms of physical pain or discomfort, and emotions like sadness or anger? These are all forms of internal factors of stress. External circumstances come from your environment. These are events or situations that have the potential to negatively impact your life.
Contrary to popular belief, stress does not necessarily have to be bad for you. Instead, stress can actually be beneficial in short bursts and can even motivate you. You can benefit from stress, as long as they are not a constant.
A positive form of stress is called a ‘eustress’. If your body responds to stress in a way that motivates, excites and improves your day, you may just be experiencing eustress. Some common examples of eustress are experienced when moving to a new country, having a baby, or getting married. Eustress can be a vital tool in leading to a more productive way of life.
If you experience stress in a prolonged state, the effects can turn from bad to worse. Negative stress is what you call ‘distress’. Any time you feel overwhelmed and have difficulty returning to a relaxed state, you could potentially be in distress. Thus, being in distress will eventually be manifested in physical and/or psychological symptoms such as headaches, muscle pains, or insomnia.
You could potentially experience distress if you have finance troubles, physical health issues or, or even conflicts in your relationships.
It is crucial to combat and manage distress. Otherwise, stress can lead to a lower quality of life. Distress could consequently lead to increased risks for anxiety, depression, or misuse of substance.
When should you seek help? How do you know if your stress is bad for you? Let’s talk about some of the signs (choosing therapy) such as:
2. Your sleeping or eating habits start becoming negatively affected by stress. When our stress levels become unmanageable, it subsequently affects other aspects of wellbeing. This includes sleeping and eating.
3. Focusing and daily functions become more challenging. If you find yourself unable to maintain a solid level of focus on your daily tasks, this could be due to high stress. While keeping focus is not always easy, it shouldn’t be too difficult when you have a manageable level of stress.
4. When you feel disconnected from yourself or your surroundings. High levels of stress can make you feel cut off from your family, friends and even job. It’s understandably difficult and can feel almost impossible to be grounded when you feel overwhelmed.
5. Constant unmotivation, sadness, and feeling drained.
6. Experiencing suicidal thoughts/ideation
7. Relying on drugs, alcohol or other unhealthy habits to cope
Do you find yourself experiencing one or more of the aforementioned signs? Contact us at MINC.Care for any one of our services you may need!
On the other hand, there are several coping strategies that could help you get a better handle on your stress levels.
Recognize signs of burnout
High levels of stress increases the risk of suffering from burnout. Emotional exhaustion is a sign for you to better manage your stress levels.
Allows your body to release chemicals known as endorphins that triggers a positive feeling in you. It also provides a positive outlet to release negative emotions you’re currently feeling due to stress.
Practice self-care. Any activity you do that helps promote your mental, emotional and physical health. Comes in many forms including getting an adequate amount of sleep and having healthy ways to process your emotions such as journalling.
By being more aware and directing all your attention to the present, you could make fewer errors. It could make you put negative events into perspectives and help pull you out of an emotional rut.
On the whole, it is very easy to take stress lightly. Hence, this is why understanding the extent to which it can affect you is important. Managing stress well and early can improve overall quality of life. Don’t know where to start? Contact us for coaching and other services to help manage stress. At MINC.Care, we care.
Article prepared by Arinah, MINC.Care.