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What is stress?

Stress is an inevitable part of life and we need a certain amount of stress to motivate us, to excite us and to ensure that everything keeps on working within our minds and bodies. This sort of stress is called eustress and is essential to our continued wellbeing. Indeed, it has been said that no stress is dead!

However, when the external demands overwhelm the internal resources that you have for dealing with the demands (your coping mechanisms), then this becomes dis-stress and is damaging in both the short and the long term. It is what most people are referring to when they say they are stressed.


Symptoms of stress

The following list is not exhaustive, but does include the main symptoms of dis-stress. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, then you are probably stressed and need to take some action. It is worth checking with your doctor to exclude other possible causes for some of the symptoms.

  • Emotional symptoms
  1. Feeling angry, weepy and or irritable all or a lot of the time
  2. Loss of interest in sex
  3. Feeling indecisive and unable to cope
  4. Feeling like a failure
  5. Feeling unliked and uncared for
  6. Not liking yourself or others very much
  7. Fearing that something terrible will happen
  8. Unable to tell people how you feel
  9. Lack of concentration
  10. Finding it hard to finish one task before starting another
  11. Loss of your sense of humour
  12. Lack of interest in life
  •   Physical symptoms

  1. Loss of appetite
  2. Indigestion - constant or frequent
  3. Bowel upsets - constipation or diarrhoea
  4. Trouble getting to sleep or/& staying asleep
  5. Always tired
  6. Frequent sweating
  7. Fidgeting and nail biting
  8. Headaches
  9. Pains in the back &/or neck
  10. Breathlessness, dizziness, nausea
  11. Palpitations
  12. Chest and joint pains
  13. Excessive alcohol use