STRESSED?!! Know the signs and how to help yourself

Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether the way we are feeling is down to stress or something else!

To start, have a look at the following to see if you recognise any of these symptoms in yourself or someone close:

Emotional symptoms

  • Frantic mind wishing it to quiet down, difficulty with relaxing
  • Agitated, frustrated and moody
  • Distant to those close. Unknowingly pushing near ones away
  • Feeling overwhelmed, losing control, worthless
  • Avoiding others.

Physical symptoms

  • Clenched jaw, teeth grinding, headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Nervous, shaking
  • Low energy
  • Frequent colds, infections
  • Raised Blood Pressure

The Health & Safety Executive report 10.4 million working days are lost with one in five visits to GPs associated with stress!

We are designed to deal with stress as a way of life. This can be positive if managed as it helps us remain alert. However, life can throw too much of it our way and this is how our bodies react so we need to be able to recognise these signs nature has been kind enough to give us!

Enough of the symptoms, how do we address them? As a director or senior manager, I have personally been subjected to more stress than should be allowed so I have empathy, actually no, sympathy to those who suffer. I was both physically and mentally strong but even I started to eventually recognise the traits and did something about it before drink or smoking took over!.

There is no easy one-fix-all answers, however, try out the following and see which best fits you:

  • Share and Time it! – When you get home or meet your partner, set up a routine to dump the day’s activities. With a time against it, ie 1hr, for both to offload. Give yourself permission to accept it’s okay to stop worrying about things.
  • What’s the cause? – Once you recognise your own stress warning signs from above symptoms, look to see what’s causing them (Starting a new project, reports to be written, the next blog such as this, lol, items at home.
  • Own your feeling ~ Take control – How often does your mood change because someone else has ruined your happy time by careless comments? You own the direction of driving your emotional car, avoid giving someone else the keys! Where others are concerned, assess how they make you feel and what you need to make your mood change. Accept areas out of your control for what it is, YOU can’t change it, allow yourself to accept it. This will help reduce stress.
  • Relax and/or Meditate – Give yourself permission to take time out of everyday life. This truly helps as another means of disconnecting. Listen to some music, read a book, listen to a meditative audio track (something we offer), consider yoga! Try to set aside time daily for an activity, rather than becoming a slave to tasks. Even just 5-10 minutes breaks to simply breathe and think of all the pleasures you have around you while releasing negative thoughts helps!
  • Scheduled To-do list – Stress can be reduced by creating a timeframe to complete a given task therein. This may be considered an addition rather than a release of stress, however, people who set themselves a time limit, focus on when they start and finish with a much better chance of achieving their objective.
  • Mistakes happen – The stress of perfectionism adds to the pile! Learn from your mistakes, embrace them and take what benefits you can from this. This is also often related to confidence issues and mastering the fact that we are not robots gives us freedom to relax, reducing stress levels.
  • Don’t try to please all! – A boss, friend, neighbour always comes to you because you’re always willing to help. Is there someone else who can help that request normally thrown in your direction? Sit back, negotiate what is really important to YOU with those that aren’t.

These are just a handful of areas Coaching to Success can help and we hope this brings about an awareness if nothing else. Stress, if not recognised and managed, can lead into some really dark places, recognising the signs is the first step.

Should you be looking to move forward in Work or Life, take the first step by contacting Neil on 07761 187238 or email

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