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.

 

Meditation

Meditation and Self-care

Hi everyone so this is our first blog on meditation and self-care.  I thought it was best to begin with an explanation and introduction of what mediation is and its benefits… as well as a bit about my own meditation journey.

Life can be so busy for everyone, rushing around from the moment we get up to before we go to sleep (or crash in our beds). We’re busy, busy, busy doing things… working, talking, learning, watching, cooking, shopping… just doing something all the time.  This can sometimes tire us out, sometimes give us feelings of overwhelm, create anxiety, stress and even bring about a lot of other non self-caring feelings and thoughts about ourselves and others.

A busy mind can bring havoc to our thoughts, effect our physical health and our emotions. So we need to calm our mind by training it to be present, aware of the here and now.

Before I took up mediation I was rushing around all the time and going to bed stressed and exhausted. One of my friends saw how I was rushing around all the time and suggested meditation to me. I did it on and off over a few years, sometimes think what’s the point but always ended up coming back to it… eventually I started noticing the benefits… stuck at it and now it is part of my life. It is part of my morning routine and boy has it changed my life… better relationships, less stress, more calm, more focused and able to get things done better and more quickly. It was difficult to stick to at first and I kept falling off the ‘meditation wagon’.

But now I love it and enjoy it…

it’s part of my daily routine, like brushing my teeth, I meditate every morning.

Sometimes on a Sunday I do longer mediations. I treat myself to a long bath and light some of my favourite candles before I begin my meditation… its part of my ‘me time’ my treat away from the world and the hustle and bustle of a busy life.

 

 

What is meditation?

Meditation is something anyone can do and it’s about taking some time-out for you, where you learn to relax; calm your body and mind. Training your mind to be present in a clear and calm way. It calms our minds.

As we go about our everyday life our mind is busy thinking all the time, thinking of the about the past, thinking of what to do now, what to next, what to do in the future, sometime worrying, fantasising, imagining, remembering things, people, actions, fretting worrying, planning daydreaming… just busy thinking sometimes without us even realising it is happening to us. We can even get addicted to thinking, even when we thing we’re not thinking, we usually are. For example when listening to a friend, watching TV, Youtube or even when reading this blog…, we are thinking and our is often wandering. Mediation helps calm this down, it brings us to the present moment in a clear way and gives us the help we need to be calmer and kinder to ourselves… and others

There are lots of different ways to meditations, super short mediations to long ones, mindful meditations, non-guided to guided mediations around specific areas you want help with. There are lots of different ones and we will cover some of these in our blogs.

 

Mediation and Self-care

By taking time out to mediate we are making time to take care of our mind. If we take time out to look after ourselves and feel better about ourselves, we will be able to help others from a better place. As they say when in an airplane ‘put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others’… and that is what you are doing when you meditate.

 

Benefits of Meditation

Mediation has been known to help reduce stress and anxiety, increase calmness and clarity and promote happiness. From my own experience I would say this is so true. When I first began it was something I did on and off but now I do it every morning and on the odd days when I don’t do it, I find my day to more chaotic and busy than usual.

I hope that helped to explain the benefits of meditation. Are you ready to give it go? And make it part of your ‘happyselfcare’ routine?

 

 

TRY THIS

5 Minute Meditaion You Can Do Anywhere

Here’s a simple meditation I used in the early days of my meditation journey… it’s by Goodflow on youtube.

 

Let us know if you gave it a try and leave a comment on how it was for you.

 

 

Organise your stress

When we’re stressed it’s so easy to say that we don’t have enough time to organise our days.

What I’ve found is that when our commitments are piled high, we tend to say that we don’t have enough time to organise social events with friends, get enough sleep, stay active and plan self-care activities.

However, we do enough time. We spend our time stressing about not having enough time to meet our commitments and trying to remember key dates like birthdays and deadlines when instead we should take note of these things, by writing it into a planner or onto your phone calendar. So, instead of using our time to vent out stress, we can make it productive and resolve the issues that are causing our stress.

Being able to see what is going on in your head will take the added stress away and help you to focus on what is in front of you… and that’s not it! It will also help you plan around your day and allocate time to certain commitments. You also can change your routine habits to make time, for instance changing your shopping from 6pm to 2pm when there’s no peak time traffic and therefore you save more time.

Just think- the more time you save, the more time you can allocate to the things you enjoy or self care. Taking thirty minutes to self-care isn’t even a tenth of your day. So don’t feel guilty if you start the next episode or read the next chapter. You deserve to make yourself a priority.

We are all unique, so find the organisation strategy that works for you. My favourite is having a big calendar and being able to see what dates I’m available from an overall perspective, but I also like to have a personal diary of where I write times and details specifically for each day. I feel this works the best for me because I can plan months in advance and I can also stay ahead of the current day. I like this old school method because It’s the one time I try to write neatly, so I look forward to it!

However, some people prefer online calendars, as everything is all in one place and you still can plan daily, monthly, or even yearly. It’s also great if you’re constantly on the move. There are also other methods such as colour coding organizing, filing methods, journal writing, planners. Whatever will help you orgainse consistently is the route you should take to orgainse your stress.

Let me know what organisational strategy you use, I would love to try it and share it with others.

Ta-dah Lists

Are you too hard on yourself? Do you feel unsatisfied that you didn’t get everything done today that you wanted to?

It’s a common feeling and we all do this. We compare our day to the one yesterday or to someone else’s but every day is a different day and we are different from one another.

To get past this feeling, make yourself a ta-dah list. This is a list that can be noted on scrap paper or your diary, journal, or phone notes. On this list, write down everything that you have done today from what you would even consider being small, such as getting out of bed, making breakfast, hoovering. Then list your occupational tasks, like meeting with the director, a presentation with team etc. Before you know it the list will be down to your feet.

Just before tucking up into bed read your list and be proud of what you have achieved today. This list will be a lot bigger than you expected and I hope it motivates you to continue making these lists to get the best out your day.

Even if you didn’t get anything done today, do not feel guilty. This is a sign that your body is telling you to rest because if you don’t give yourself a rest your body will do that for you. Remember you are your own investment, when you invest time in yourself to rest and self-care you will feel good and when you feel good you will become more productive.