I have been thinking about writing about this topic for a few days but it is super important that I get it out. It has finally caught up with me. The big “S”. I didn’t identify it at first because I am a licensed social worker, I work at a therapist. Why do I have these crazy symptoms. Why am I having problems sleeping? Why do I want to be left alone? ummmmm well a colleague had to remind me that although I am a therapist I am first a human being. Its difficult recognizing the symptoms in yourself that you constantly see in others. If you havent guessed it by now, its……. .
The BIG “S” that no one should experience but everyone does. It is crazy how some people mistake stress for a brief moment of a bad feeling or anxiety or panic. But who knew how complex this phenomenon really is???? I know you have heard the saying “Stress can Kill you” and I can definitely see how. If you don’t manage it properly, this monster can spiral out of control and leave you feeling awful.
I found this article that lists signs that may mean you are under too much stress. http://www.levo.com/articles/lifestyle/5-signs-youre-under-too-much-stress. 1. Over or under eating. How many of us use food to cope with our emotions or situations that we cannot control? It can be a coping tool an unhealthy one at that. On the other hand some people may eat less causing drastic weight loss, exacerbation of other health problems, and decline in metabolism. 2. Fatigue and problems sleeping. Have you ever woke up and felt more tired than you did when you went to bed? I was just thinking that my brain was still in full swing while I was sleep lol. There are medical issues that can cause this symptom as well but I am talking about feeling like this without the medical issue. This causes us to feel tired during the day and increases difficulty with completing daily tasks. 3. Headaches, muscle pain/ tension. OMG!!!!! this was a dead give away for me. I have been dealing with headaches consistently. I thought it was sinus at one point but when it start traveling to other areas on my head, I knew something else was wrong. I don’t have high blood pressure. I drink a lot of water so where are the headaches coming from. 4. Changes in mood. This is another one for me. I have not been wanting to talk on the phone as much and those that know me, know that I love to talk lol. I am easily aggravated. Sometimes, I would rather be left alone. A lot of times being left alone is not bad because this prevents you from taking your anger or irritability out on someone who does not deserve it. 5. Lack of motivation or focus. This is huge!!!!! This will make you feel CRAZY. Like something is truly wrong with you. All this time, you have been able to pay attention or complete things and now the desire to get things done has disappeared.
I hope you copy and past the link I posted and read the full article because we have to take care of ourselves. NOT just for ourselves but for the people we love and those that love us. We can not let this STRESS develop into something bigger such as Depression, Anxiety, and other disorders. Learn appropriate coping skills. Inappropriate coping skills can develop into substance use and abuse, alcoholism, can cause job loss and homelessness. This is a real problem for most of us and we are still trying to find out what is going on. I hope this post was helpful to you because STRESS can affect anyone.
Deep breathing and relaxation music, dancing, singing, exercising, writing, drawing, praying are all effective coping mechanisms. Please don’t frown on the deep breathing idea because it really works. The first time I did it properly, it was like a rush of air went to my brain and I felt a sense of calm fall over my body. The key is breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly.
Prayer and meditation is so great. When I pray, I always feel better when I am done. The prayer does not necessary have to be a request but you can just simply discuss what is bothering you and your shoulders will feel lighter. It’s a good feeling when you can count on God to help you through situations.
Singing and dancing is great. My son will tell you, I will break out in song in a minute and don’t let it be a song that really speaks to my situation, I am letting it all out then lol. Dancing allows you to be free. Let those problems exit your body through your movements. Allow the music to direct you movements.
My favorite is guided imagery. I went to a mindfulness workshop and she had us do an exercise that was so intense it was hard to come back from. This is the type of relaxation that is needed to assist us in escaping the rigors of daily life if only for a few minutes.
Exercise is definitely a great stress reliever. I used to go to the gym faithfully and now that I think about it, I handled things a little better while working on my physique. You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise. You can walk outside, jump rope, play with your kids, play a dance game or sports game on the Wii, do squats, free weights or other body weight exercises in the home.
I didn’t intend to go into so much detail but this post was for me and my readers. I hope that this has been a help to you. I have definitely helped myself. Let me hear from you!!!!