In small doses, stress can help you get things done, like pass a test or achieve a goal. But if you’re stressed all the time, you end up draining your body of the energy it needs to function normally. Learn how to identify signs of stress in yourself so you can take steps to improve your mood.
What is stress?
Stress is simply your body’s coping mechanism for danger. When your body thinks you’re in trouble – even if that trouble is imagined – it goes into survival mode and releases stress hormones. In a real emergency, stress gives you extra energy to push through, defend yourself, react quicker, or think fast.
The problem is, your nervous system often can’t detect the difference between physical and emotional danger. If you’ve had a fight with your BFF, your body can treat that fight as though it was a physical attack. The more times you activate your stress responses, the easier these triggers occur. You train yourself to feel more stressed.
Common signs of stress
If you think you might be involved in a stressful situation, ask yourself if you are experiencing:
Causes of stress
Stress can be caused by many things. It can also be a symptom of a more serious condition. Common causes of extreme stress are a death in your family, relationship break-up, parents divorcing, being injured or taken ill, bullying, or striving for a particular goal. Big life changes, financial problems, negative self-talk, and pessimism all contribute to stress, according to the Helpguide website.
Activities to improve your ability to handle stress
If you find yourself frequently stressed out, doing these activities on a regular schedule can help reduce your stress levels:
Remember, a little bit of stress is a good thing, but too much could leave you feeling tired, irritable, and not performing at your best. Luckily, there are lots of ways to lower your stress levels.