Feeling stressed is a normal response to challenging or dangerous situations. A small amount of stress can increase energy and motivation.
But too much stress can make people feel overwhelmed and can impact quality of life by causing physical and mental health issues.
The home doctor experts at House Call Doctor say the key is to identify what makes you stressed, then take steps to avoid it or reduce the feelings of stress.
Symptoms of stress
Although everyone experiences stress differently, there are some signs that indicate stress is becoming a problem. Some signs you may be stressed are:
- muscle tension
- poor sleep — or sleeping too much
- being irritable
- not having motivation
- being moody
- not being able to concentrate
- feeling overwhelmed or anxious
- relying on alcohol or drugs to cope.
Removing the causes of stress
The causes of stress are dependent on your personality, cultural background, past experiences and your support network.
Some common causes of stress are:
- relationship problems
- life pressures from work or study
- having a baby
- money problems
- losing a job.
Once you have identified the problems causing stress in your life, you can use structured problem-solving exercises to help find solutions. Here are some examples:
- Write down a list of the problems that are worrying you.
- Identify which problem is causing you the most stress and write it down.
- Work out all the options to deal with the problem and write them down.
- List the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
- Identify the best option to deal with the problem.
- List the steps you need to carry out this option.
- Carry out the option. Afterwards, think about whether it worked and whether you would do this again.