Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. So being able to identify stress is important.
People who experience stress may:
Worry more than normal
Feeling tense, overburdened, nervous or afraid
Get headaches and stomach pains
Not sleep well
Lose interest in food or eat more than normal
Not be able to enjoy themselves
Seem negative, lost sense of humour
Feel hopeless, lonely and/or neglected
People suffering from stress may display these behaviours:
Find it hard to make decision
Snap at people
Bite their nails/pick at their skin
Find it hard to concentrate
Smoke or drink alcohol more than usual
Can’t sit still, restlessness
Be tearful or cry more than usual
Physical effects of stress can be:
Blurred eyes or sore eyes
Unable to enjoy sex
Tired all the time
Grinding or clenching of the jaw
Indigestion or heartburn
Constipation or diarrhoea
Feeling sick, dizziness or fainting
Some things that cause you stress cannot be avoided, however sometimes you can do things to help alleviate the feeling of being stressed. Consider the following:
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to combat stress. Being active can lower stress hormones and release endorphins which are chemicals that improve mood and act as natural pain killers. It will also aid sleep and can build self-image.
Essential oils/candles, some scents can help to reduce the feelings of stress, and aid sleep as well. Try lavender, rose or camomile.
Reduce your caffeine intake
Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks. High quantities of caffeine can increase stress and anxiety, so be mindful of how much you have each day.
Write things down
Keeping a journal can help relieve stress and anxiety, try to focus on the positives.
Chew gum, for a super easy and quick stress reliever, try chewing a stick of gum. According to several studies, chewing gum may help you relax, increase alertness and blood flow in the brain.
Spend time with friends and family
Support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times and being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth.
Laughing, laughter can reduce stress, in the long-term laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.
Yoga class, yoga has become a popular method of relieving stress amongst all age groups. Yoga is helpful as it increases body and breath awareness. Research has found that yoga can enhance mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety.
Listen to music, listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body. Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.
Deep breathing, deep breathing exercises can help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the relaxation response. There are many different types of breathing exercises to try to help you relax.
Spend time with a pet, having a pet can improve your mood and stress levels. Pets can give you purpose, keep you active and provide companionship, all of which will help to reduce stress.
www.studentminds.org.uk / www.nhs.uk / www.childline.org.uk / www.dummies.com/health/mental-health / www.mind.org.uk