What is Stress?

Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure.  Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope.  Stress can be caused by a variety of things that happen in our day to day lives.  Symptoms of Stress can build up gradually before you even consciously notice them.  They may include one or more of the following:

  • Feeling Irritable;
  • Low in self-esteem;
  • Loss of Sleep;
  • Loss of Appetite;
  • Loss of Concentration;
  • Anxiety;
  • Anger;
  • Feeling emotional with frequent crying;
  • Feeling tired or run down.

Stress can also affect us physically, causing such symptoms as:

  • Headaches;
  • Chest pains;
  • Bowel or bladder problems;
  • Dizziness/light headed;
  • Palpitations;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Cold sores.

Behaviour can also be affected by stress:

  • Food Cravings;
  • Struggling to concentrate;
  • Drinking or smoking more;
  • Change in eating habits.

Our surrounding environment can play a major factor in causing us stress:

  • Lack of natural light;
  • Poor ventilation and/or no fresh air;
  • How we sit at a desk and work on a computer – the position of the chair, the position of the monitor; how we work on a key board, how long we sit in the position for;
  • Mobile phones;
  • Travelling to and from work, especially if on a busy road or motorway (road rage!); this could also include fumes from surrounding vehicles.

Other day to day situations which can cause stress are:

  • Peer pressure, at school, college or work;
  • Parental pressure (from both parent and child point of view);
  • Financial difficulties, juggling outgoings and incomings;
  • Workload, meeting deadlines;
  • Death of a family member;
  • Relationship matters.

Any combination of the above can play a contributing factor to stress.

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