• Memory problems
• Inability to concentrate
• Poor judgment
• Seeing only the negative
• Anxious or racing thoughts
• Constant worrying • Moodiness
• Irritability or short temper
• Agitation, inability to relax
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Sense of loneliness and isolation
• Depression or general unhappiness
Physical Symptoms Behavioral Symptoms
• Aches and pains
• Diarrhea or constipation
• Nausea, dizziness
• Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
• Loss of sex drive
• Frequent colds • Eating more or less
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Isolating yourself from others
• Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
• Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
• Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
Keep in mind that the signs and symptoms of stress can also be caused by other psychological and medical problems. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs of stress, it’s important to see a doctor for a full evaluation. Your doctor can help you determine whether or not your symptoms are stress-related.
Causes of stress: - The situations and pressures that cause stress are known as stressors. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as an exhausting work schedule or a rocky relationship. However, anything that puts high demands on you or forces you to adjust can be stressful. This includes positive events such as getting married, buying a house, going to college, or receiving a promotion.
What causes stress depends, at least in part, on your perception of it. Something that's stressful to you may not faze someone else; they may even enjoy it. For example, your morning commute may make you anxious and tense because you worry that traffic will make you late. Others, however, may find the trip relaxing because they allow more than enough time and enjoy listening to music while they drive.
Common external causes of stress
• Major life changes
• Relationship difficulties • Financial problems
• Being too busy
• Children and family
Common internal causes of stress
Not all stress is caused by external factors. Stress can also be self-generated:
• Inability to accept uncertainty
• Negative self-talk • Unrealistic expectations
• Lack of assertiveness
Categories of stress: - Adjustive or stressors, stem from sources that fall into three basic categories: - (1) Frustration, (2) Conflicts, (Pressures).
1. Frustrations: - A wide range of obstacles, both external and internal, can lead to frustration. Prejudice and discrimination, unfulfillment in a job, and the death of a loved one are common frustration stemming from the environment; physical handicaps, limited ability to perform certain tasks, loneliness, guilt and inadequate self-control are sources of frustration based on personal limitations.
2. Conflict: - In many instances, stress result from the simultaneous occurrence of two or incompatible needs or motives: The requirements of one preclude satisfaction of the others. For example, if a woman is committed to a career but must decide whether to uproot her family undisturbed, she will experience conflict while trying to make the choice.
Classification of conflict situation: -
I. Approach-avoidance conflict.
II. Double-approach conflict.
III. Double-avoidance conflict.
3. Pressure: - Stress may stem not only from frustrations and conflicts but also from pressures to achieve specific goals or to behave in particular ways. Pressure forces us to speed up. Redouble our effort, or change the direction of goal-oriented behaviour, which can seriously tax our coping resources or even lead to maladaptive behaviour.
Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.