This is International Stress Awareness Week: how stress aware are you?.
Stress is a natural part of life. You need some of it to feel motivated and focused – nothing like a deadline to get you moving. Too little stress can cause boredom. But most people are more concerned about having too much stress. And no wonder, the consequences of too much stress for too long can be dire: breakdown or burnout.
And the impact on your day to day life is not much better with health affected, deadlines missed, lines crossed and relationships suffering, to name a few.
Stress Awareness: The Symptoms
So it’s important to understand the symptoms of stress so you can spot the signs early on and take corrective action. They fall into three main areas:
Stress Awareness: The Causes
The causes are wide and varied: too much work and not enough resources; being pulled in too many directions; our always-on culture; perfectionism; the tendency to compare our lives to others’; problems at work; relationship difficulties; financial pressures; health worries and so on.
So, out of 10, how stressed are you right now?
And what is the cause of it? Make a list of your stressors. Label each one out of ten, ten being the most stressful, and see what proactive action you can take to reduce them, without resorting to food, shopping, alcohol, etc as your stress will simply come straight back and probably more intensely.
Stress Resilience Strategies
It is good to deal with the cause directly, but, as a general foundation for stress resilience, you would do well to follow these simple strategies:
Stress is very much a personal issue – what is stressful for one person might be fun for another. The worst thing to do is to think you shouldn’t be stressed, or to ignore it. The best thing you can do is acknowledge it and tackle it. Hopefully this article helps you to understand your own stress better. If you need additional support, do feel free to contact me on 0345 130 0854, or get in touch here.
© Tricia Woolfrey