Stress – commonly defined as a pressure, tension or strain on your emotional and physical wellbeing. A little stress can motivate you, and many ambitious and proactive people rely on stressors to push themselves to work harder. However, long term stress can have a massive impact on your behaviour, cognitive skills, physical mobility and your emotions, but the symptoms are often vague and difficult to determine because they’re associated with other mental and medical conditions. It’s important to discuss possible stress with your local GP, but here are a few things to look out for if you’re worried you might be suffering from stress.
Physical symptoms include:
Low energy, constant exhaustion or lethargy.
Headaches, stomach pains or muscle pain.
Chest pains or increased heartrate.
Frequent colds or infections.
Shaking, nervousness or tinnitus.
Difficulty eating, swallowing or dry mouth.
Clenched jaw or grinding teeth.
Emotional Symptoms include:
· Mood swings – easily agitated or frustrated.
· Feeling overwhelmed or losing control.
· Unable to relax or quiet your mind.
· Social anxiety
· Decreasing self-esteem, increasing loneliness.
Cognitive and Behavioural Symptoms include:
· Forgetfulness and disorganisation.
· Inability to focus or poor judgement. Increased procrastination.
· Changes in appetite – the amount you eat decreasing or increasing.
· Nail-biting, fidgeting, pacing or other nervous behaviours.
Long term stress can have far more drastic symptoms, such as loss of hair or weight, heart disease, depression and eating disorders. But there are ways to combat stress and manage your emotional and physical health proactively.
Massage is only of many ways to deal with the symptoms of stress. Regular massage sessions can help manage the symptoms of stress.