Mental Health and Stress

Stress… the signs, symptoms and causes

Stress, can effect you in a million different ways. It can affect your mind, physical body and how you behave. This can impact on you, your life as well as anyone and everyone who maybe around you.

Stress can damage your body (your physical health). It can even age you! There is quite a bit of evidence and research that shows this to be true.

Here are some of the problems that maybe caused or made worse by stress:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Pain of any kind (headaches, back pain, joint pain, abdominal pain and some chronic pains)
  • Sleep problems
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Digestive problem
  • Skin conditions, such as eczema
  • Heart disease
  • Weight problems
  • Reproductive issues
  • Thinking and memory problems
  • Emotional volatility (such as getting angry easily, frustrated, upset etc)

Signs and symptoms

Mind, Behaviour and Emotions

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Depression or general unhappiness
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Moodiness, irritability, or anger
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits
  • Other behavioural, mental or emotional health problems

Body:

    • Headaches and other aches and pains
    • Diarrhea or constipation
    • Nausea, dizziness
    • Chest pain, rapid heart rate
    • Frequent colds or flu
    • Prone to skin allergies
    • Fatigue (often due to not resting or sleeping well)

Some Causes

Stress maybe caused for lots different reasons, often it is something negative that has impacted our lives internally or externally… but stress can also be brought on because of something positive going on in our lives. For example, starting university, a new job, moving to a new home, getting a pet, new relationship, holiday or even getting married. Everyone is different what one person finds amazing may be stressful for someone else.

Some external causes of stress:

  • Work, College, University and School
  • Change in lifestyle
  • Change in homelife
  • Relationships
  • Finance
  • Being busy
  • Social events
  • Holidays
  • Major life changes
  • Exams, Deadlines and timeframes
  • Various types of commitments

Some internal causes of stress include:

  • Pessimism
  • Inability to accept uncertainty
  • Rigid thinking, lack of flexibility
  • Negative self-talk
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Low self-esteem
  • Perfectionism
  • Low self-worth
  • Excessive People Pleasing (the need to please others to the detriment of own health and well being)
  • Unable to say no
  • All-or-nothing attitude
  • Unable to empathise or see other points of view
  • Poor Emotional controlIf you feel you may live a stressful life.

There are steps you can take to help relieve the pressure of stress, by managing the stress and regaining some control in you life.

 

 

TRY THIS…

Here are a few things you can do:

Meditation and mindfulness can help calm the mind and reduce stress.  Checkout our meditation Post

 

Make time for you by committing to ’Self-Care’.  This means scheduling quality time for you without feeling guilty and genuinely taking a break from life. Checkout some of our self-care ideas, on our webpage, instagram or join us at facebook 

 

Manage stress by Keeping a ’Stress Journal’ to find out what your stress triggers are and do something to resolve them

  1. What caused the stress?
  2. How did you feel at the time (physically and emotionally)?
  3. How did you behave?
  4. What made you feel better?
  5. Resolution – Which of these could you do to stop it from happening next time…Avoid, Adapt, Accept (choose one and try it… put in your journal what happens)

 

Get moving!

The minute your stressed do something physical (dance, workout, exercise, play a game, clim some stairs, go for a walk… just do something). You may not feel like it at the time but the minute you do you will start feeling better, this will help release endorphins, try and aim to eventually achieve 30 minutes a day if you can, if not that’s okay some exercise is better than none.

 

You may also want to read our blog on Organise Your Stressand ‘Listening to music helps reduce stress’… don’t let stress stop you in your tracks 🙂

We will have some other stuff on stress later in the month… so keep visiting us here or sign up to our society, follow us on instagram and join us at facebook.

I hope you found the information helpful. If you have found it useful or have tried any of these strategies why not comment and let us know how it went. If you have tried other things that have worked for you please share.

 

Don’t go chasing waterfalls- let’s go walking waterfalls

Let me guess I got you singing TLC waterfalls in your head right now because it’s definitely in mine after reading the title.

Anyways, we’re not here to talk about R&B, though you all know it is my favourite genre of music- just thought It’d be rude not to give it a cheeky reference! (Head over to my music tab if you wanna talk all about those sweet rhythm and blues though).

What we are really here to talk about, is going on a walk to a waterfall! I say specifically waterfalls because I was watching Down to Earth on Netflix and Zac Efron (major eye candy and fantastic series) told a really interesting fact that got me researching. Zac said that ‘water in motion (waterfalls) produce negative ions, which is known to relieve stress, tension, fight depression and increase energy. In short, all these negative ions are creating very positive vibes.’ This is TRUE! These positive vibes increase our serotonin levels (the happy chemicals in our brain) which make us happier and invigorated. Aside from all these fancy scientific words, when we see something that we perceive as beautiful like nature and waterfalls, we tend to be generally happier due to the aesthetic qualities too. How great does a walk to a waterfall sound, right? We haven’t even discussed the physical benefits of taking a walk yet either!

In terms of the physical benefits of walking- you’ve probably heard them all before, it helps with blood circulation, strengthening your muscles, ease joint pain, lower blood pressure and weight loss. In fact, did you know you can burn from a range of 100-300 calories in 30 minutes, depending on your walking pace? A walk by the waterfall is what I would now I like to label as a WWW- a walking waterfall WINNER! (Yup, you heard this here first).

For me, besides all these amazing facts, just being physically present at a waterfall is so relaxing. I love just sitting by the side hearing the force of the water go by. The air feels so crisp and clean to breathe. I could literally sit by a waterfall for hours. Honestly, I think walking to a waterfall is possibly one of my favourite self care activities. It just ticks so many boxes all at once. Even if you’re a social person, you could easily gather your friends to go on a walk together to a waterfall. Or if you’re a foodie, make yourself a picnic and enjoy it by the pleasant surroundings. There’s a multiple of ways to tick a looooooot of self care boxes here!

If you’re looking for a great waterfall to go to, here is an amazing one that I just visited a few days ago in County Durham. This is a picture of Low Force Waterfall below I took myself. There is another bigger waterfall about a half an hour walk from it too called High Force, which has the most volume of water going through an unbroken drop in England. However, I actually ended on top of the waterfall instead at the bottom, so I couldn’t get a great photo.