Stress helps our body to respond immediately and effectively during critical situations. Although typically an unpleasant feeling, it’s an important part of how we can overcome challenges that we’re facing at the moment. However, if unchecked, prolonged and excess stress can build up to unhealthy levels, and may affect other areas of our lives.
Recognising The Symptoms of Excess Stress
- Headaches: When we’re facing chronic stress, we may suffer from constant headaches and pains in our neck area. This may be triggered by a variety of reasons including lack of sleep, dehydration, alcohol consumption, sinus, or allergy.
- Changes in sleep patterns: Stress may result in sleeping too little, too much, or constantly waking up at night. If you find yourself often exhausted during the day, it may be a sign that you’re not getting quality sleep at night. It may be worthwhile to get a smartwatch that can help track sleeping patterns and spot any irregularities
- Appetite Issues: Everyone has different coping mechanisms for stress. Some may totally reject food while some may find comfort in binge eating. As such, losing or gaining weight in a very short amount of time can also be a sign of excessive stress.
- Digestive issues: Stress can cause gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation or diarrhoea. This is because the link between your gut and brain is closer than you think. There is even a name for it, known as the “gut-brain axis”, as chemicals in your gut are sensitive to what’s happening in your mind.
- Feeling anxious or restless: You might experience sensations of dizziness, rapid breathing, or a fast heartbeat.
- Lacking motivation: You may feel a lack of focus in whatever you do, even activities that you have previously enjoyed. This is a common phenomenon for those who are feeling burned out, particularly from work.
- Easily irritated or angered: Stress can put you on edge, so that even the smallest events or things that others say may trigger your anger. A possible symptom of stress is if you realise you’re suddenly quarrelling a lot with the people around you, for no apparent reason.
6 Practical Tips To Relieve Stress
#1: Learn to Say No
#2: Reduce Screen Time
#3: Spend Time With Loved Ones
#4: Reduce Caffeine
#5: Regular Physical Activity
#6: Write It Down
When to Seek Professional Help
If you find that you’re still experiencing constant headaches, sleep loss, an uneasy stomach or weight change, you may need to seek professional help. Our team of qualified mental health experts are ready to help you anytime you need, over the DA app.