How to recognise stress

Every one of us experiences stress, all to varying degrees and in some cases a small amount of stress can be found motivating. It’s when those feelings start to impact on your daily life, your moods, your wellbeing that you need to be aware of it’s affect and more importantly how to deal with it. 

Some things to look out for are over worrying, over thinking, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, difficulty sleeping, lack of concentration, irritable, difficulty relaxing or switching off, although it’s worth noting stress can present in lots of different ways.

It can feel paralysing for some people and it’s often difficult to notice it fully in ourselves, in fact you’re more likely to recognise the signs of stress in others around you, than you are in yourself. 

So, what can we do to help recognise stress?

  1. Be aware when stress is impacting your life, listen to you body. Awareness of changes early can help you reassess your lifestyle and make the necessary changes – Book some time off, leave work early, switch the notifications off on devices, whatever it takes to rebalance the levels.
  2. Understand your triggers, by taking stock of the things around you that are causing your stress levels to rise will help you put in measure to avoid this again in the future. Be honest with yourself here, if you’re not coping speak up there will be help available.
  3. Review your work/life balance. Are you trying to do too much, can you delegate some tasks or activities to other team or family members, or perhaps you can improve some time management skills to create some efficiency in tasks? Take the time to really think through all areas of your life, are there things you’re doing that don’t need to be done by you?

These 3 steps can also be used to identify and support team members, colleagues, and family members too. Encouraging open relationships and creating a safe place for those around you to speak up and ask for help.

We can do lots ourselves to reduce the stress affecting us, things like eating healthy, taking regular breaks, doing regular exercise, introducing a healthy bedtime routine/sleeping pattern. These are also things we can discuss with others around us to support when we see signs of stress creeping in.