pounding waves

Understanding Stress – Signs and Symptoms

When you first experience stress, you may notice that you are feeling more tense, anxious or worried than usual.

Unless you have strategies in place to deal with these emotions and feelings the stress can build and become an even bigger energy drain resulting in anger, frustration and fear.  If these feelings are left unresolved you can expect to feel your personal inner resources are being depleted, and this can prove damaging to both your health and your personal relationships in the longer term.

Symptoms of Stress

These are just some but not all of the responses individuals may be experiencing when they say they are stressed.

If you are experiencing any of them you may be stressed.

  • Insomnia/Fatigue
  • General anxiety
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Weight loss/Over eating (comfort eating)
  • Gastro-intestinal upset/Digestive problems
  • Palpitations/sweating
  • Hair loss/Skin rashes
  • High blood pressure
  • Anger/Hostility
  • Frustration/Shouting or other emotional outbursts
  • Feelings of isolation or of being disconnected from the world
  • Generalised muscle tension

Are you suffering from stress?

Stress is arguably one of the most over used words in the english language. Yet the reality of being stressed, of feeling that your life is out of control – and being unable to talk to people about how you are feeling – means that the world can become an incredibly lonely and isolated place in which to live.

Stress affects different people differently.  For some it can act as a creative challenge, for others it can be something that contributes to emotional and physical overload and can result in tiredness and a sense of disconnection from yourself and the world around you.

Acknowledging Stress

Am I stressed, anxious or depressed?

People generally say that it is hard to see the wood for the trees when stressed.  In fact many people do not realise that are stressed, or spend time trying to deny it, preferring to rationalise their symptoms until they are so tired and/or ill they need time off work to recuperate.

If however you are experiencing a feeling of low mood, experience early morning waking, lasting more than two weeks it may be that you are suffering with depression.

More about anxiety >>

Good and Bad Stress

People often tell us that they have been fearful or ashamed of admitting to being stressed in case friends and colleagues perceived them as someone ‘weak’ or who couldn’t cope.  They explain the strategies they use to avoid dealing with situations that stress them, or tell us about things they have done to minimise the impact of stressors in their lives e.g comfort eating, smoking, alcohol.

Not all stress is bad stress, naturally our bodies need some stress to get us out of bed in the morning! But if you feel that despite all your best efforts you still haven’t managed to catch up with doing the things you should do, then understand you are at risk of damaging your health and wellbeing.

If you want to get off that treadmill then we might just be able to help you.

Back to Counselling in Dorset >

We are based in Wimborne, Dorset and have many years experience in the wellbeing field. We are always very happy for you to phone us for an informal chat.