Stress: The Silent Killer (Part II)

In the last article, I talked about stress and types of stress and causes of stress. In this activity, we will examine signs and symptoms of stress.

Signs and Symptoms of stress

1. Sweating

2. Pain in the back or chest

3. Cramps or muscle spasms

4. Headache

5. Muscular aches 

6. Nervous twitches

7. Sleeping difficulties

8. Stomach upset such as diarrhea or constipation

9. High blood pressure

10. Nausea

11. Dizziness

12. Lack of sex drive, libido or erectile dysfunction

13. Memory problems

14. Anxiety

15. Inability to concentrate 

16. Depression

17. Moodiness 

18. Irritability/Agitation

19. Loneliness

20. Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities 

21. Withdrawal from others

22. Frequent crying/mood swings 

23. Higher tobacco consumption

24. Drug and alcohol abuse

25. Food cravings 

Factors that influence your stress tolerance level 

Your ability to deal with you emotions

If you have trouble on how to take care of yourself when angry, sad or annoyed, you will become stressed and agitated

Your support network

If you have strong support systems such as supportive family members, friends, colleagues, boss, this will serve as a buffer against stress, but if you don’t have people around you, you get loneliness and isolated and have a great risk of being stressed.

Your attitude and outlook

If you have a positive attitude and outlook to life, you will not be at a risk of succumbing to stress and its effect

Your knowledge of stress will help you know not only how to recognize when you are being stressed but also how to deal with it effectively.

Management of Stress

There is no medical management of stress i.e. no drugs can relieve stress. Therapies that may help to induce relaxation such as Aroma therapy, reflexology, etc. may be provided.

• Management of stress is mainly self-help i.e. modify life style habits. This includes;

• Eat Healthy balanced diet

• Reducing intake of alcohol drugs and caffeine

• Exercise regularly

• Connect to others and “let off steam”

• Rest as often as possible

• Prioritize and organize your schedule

• Practice mindful relaxation technique

• Acknowledge the signs of stress when you see them, so that you will know when to “take a step or two backwards”

• Establish your support networks

• Find your own distresses or i.e. what makes you relax e.g. talking, listening to music, reading book, etc.

• Breathing and relaxation techniques can help you can also practice yoga, meditation and message.

Remember “You can do it, just don’t overdo”

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