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The pace of our everyday lives can put tremendous strain on not just our physical health but also our mental health.  There are always people or things that demand our attention, and more often than not it is the pressure that we put on ourselves which puts us under the most pressure.  We often drive ourselves too hard with our own expectations of what we should be doing and it is often this which puts us under the most pressure.

When we find ourselves thinking about a situation that is stressful our body responds in a physical way.   These thought patterns trigger the release of a hormone called adrenaline.   Adrenaline makes the heart rate quickens, blood pressure rises, breathing becomes rapid and shallow, your muscles tense and your senses become more alert.   This physical response to a thought is known as the “fight or flight response”.   These physical changes are there to help you stand your ground and fight, or turn and run away from danger.

Everyday life does not now normally put us in such a dangerous position but feeling anxious, angry or even frustrated at having to wait our turn, can cause these physical symptoms to occur.  It is therefore important to take some time out and think about how things are going.

Below some of the common signs of being stressed, be honest with yourself and think is this “just like me”  “sometimes” or “not like me”

.     Inability to concentrate

.     Seeing only the negative

.     Anxious or racing thoughts

.     Constant worrying

.     Moodiness

.     Irritability or short temper

.     Feeling agitated,

.     Feeling overwhelmed

.     Feeling lonely and isolated

.     Depression or general unhappiness

Stress symptoms can also exhibit themselves in physical ways such as

.     Headaches

.     Diarrhoea or constipation

.     Nausea, dizziness

.     Palpitations

.     Frequent colds, being run down

.     Comfort eating

.     Lack of appetite

.     Sleeping too much or not being able to sleep

.     Isolating yourself from others

.     Using cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs to relax

.     Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

Having looked at some the signs and symptoms of being stressed you may be surprised with the results.   Often life is so busy that taking time to think about our mental health and wellbeing is something which is last on your to do list.    If you did score high, then talk with a trusted family member, friend or seek help and advice from your Doctor.

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