Stress unpacked: From symptoms to solutions

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Stress is a common experience in our daily lives. It’s the body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. While a little stress can motivate us to act quickly and get things done, too much can affect our mood, body, and relationships.

Recognising the symptoms

Stress can manifest in various ways, affecting our emotions, physical health, and behaviour.

Emotional symptoms

  • Irritability, anger, or impatience
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Being worried, anxious, hopeless, or scared
  • Struggling to make decisions or having racing thoughts

Physical symptoms

  • Stomach problems, headaches, and muscle pain
  • Difficulty breathing, dizziness, or fainting
  • High blood pressure and chest pains
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns

Behavioural changes

  • A change in eating and exercise habits
  • Increased substance use, such as drinking or smoking
  • Avoiding social interactions and activities

Managing your stress

Imagine carrying a bucket that slowly fills up as you experience different types of stress.

When the bucket is full, it overflows, symbolising the point where it becomes overwhelming and leads to the symptoms mentioned above.

To prevent this overflow, we need to open ‘taps’. These ‘taps’ represent positive coping strategies, such as exercise, meditation, socialising, or asking for help.

Try our worksheet below to help you visualise what’s affecting you at the moment and the coping strategies you could try.

Click to download the stress bucket worksheet

08 April, 2024