What Does Being Stressed Feel Like?
Life is full of pressures and commitments that put our minds and bodies under stress. Some people seem to thrive on this stress, and use it to motivate themselves to achieve their ambitions and goals, but when taken to extremes, no matter how resilient or accomplished you are, stress can become debilitating and exhausting, and can seriously impair your ability to function.
There may be specific events or relationships that are heightening your stress levels, or you may be struggling with a residual feeling of stress and fatigue without being able to pinpoint an origin or source. Stress can be frightening, making you rigid in your thinking and resistant to change. Stress is often accompanied by self-critical thoughts and can severely affect your self-esteem.
Long-term chronic stress can leave you feeling unhappy, physically unwell, and dissatisfied with life. Elevated levels of stress can be linked to symptoms of depression and anxiety. Stress can also trigger emotional eating and binge drinking as a way of soothing your feelings.
If you are experiencing symptoms of stress, psychological, nutrition and lifestyle interventions can all help to calm your mind and body. Your symptoms, even when they are severe, can improve with counselling or psychotherapy. Stress treatment may include:
- Exploring what causes and maintains your stress
- Balancing nutrition to calm your body
- Learning skills to challenge your thinking
- Time management and assertiveness training. Important skills to help you create boundaries and reduce stress
- Using skills to manage and reduce stress; mindfulness, relaxation and breathing techniques
- Working on your mind/body connection, and enhancing your ability to be attuned to your body
Our nutrition team can support you in making diet and lifestyle changes, which are key in reducing the symptoms of stress. This can help by increasing energy, improving sleep and elevating your mood.
Stress Self Help
Here are some tips and ideas to help you manage stress in your life, so you can reduce symptoms and feel better:
- Find an activity that you enjoy and make it part of your daily life, such as swimming, walking, dancing or attending yoga classes.
- Spend more time with family and friends. Socialising with others is a good way to relieve your stress and forget about your worries.
- Focus on one thing at a time by prioritizing your important tasks first. Making a list with all the things you have to do will help you plan your day ahead.
- Engage and listen to your senses. Do you enjoy listening to a particular song, or smelling ground coffee?
- Get enough sleep and maintain a healthy diet, which can improve your mood and productivity.
- Reduce the consumption of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine, which can make you feel even more tense.
- Explore relaxation techniques, such as focusing on your breath, spending time in nature, or listening to calm music.