Almost everyday we face some type of stress or anxiety. Sometimes this can be a good thing. Good stress can help us focus, can motivate us, and help us make decisions. So how do we know when good stress becomes too much?
When the stress you are experiencing interferes with your day to day living it can become chronic, meaning long term or reoccurring. Chronic stress can lead to physical symptoms not just mental.
Some physical symptoms can include:
- Muscle tension, aches and pains
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling fatigued
Try these practical exercises to help manage stress.
- Take a moment to pause and think about what is causing you stress. If there are multiple things causing stress, focus on one.
- Write down your feelings to try and organize your thoughts. Sometimes when we are stressed our minds tend to spiral.
- Talk to someone about how you are feeling. It can be a family member or friend, someone you feel comfortable with.
- Then think about ways this stress can be relieved. Is there a way you can change the thing that is causing stress?
- If you have the control to make changes, write a step by step list of ways to improve the situation.
- Follow your list of steps and see if any improvements in your stress have been made.
Following these steps can give us a sense of control in a time when things feel out of control. If the stress in your life is out of your ability to control it, try not to negative self-talk. Know that you are only human. Remember to take time for yourself to do something that brings you joy.
Sources: Psychology Tools, NAMI. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.