Stress can be described in lots of ways, but here's a nice easy way to determine if you're stressed and if you are: then how badly. Recognising stress can be the most difficult part of the process, it's one of the reasons why regular relaxation is important - it helps you tune into the difference between stressed and relaxed.
Stress can be described by 3 distinct mental and physical states:
Stage 1 Speeding Up
Generally this stage is characterised by an increase in speed - moving more quickly; talking faster; walking faster (head leading); eating and drinking more quickly; working at high speed and for long periods of time without tiring (at the time).
Stage 2 Irritability
This stage is characterised by short temperedness; tension headaches/migraine; dyspepsia and gastric symptoms ie heartburn; insomnia; loss of energy; loss of memory; comfort tricks ie alcohol, smoking, increased intake of food etc; personal traits exaggerated/heightened.
Stage 3 Cotton Wool Head
This stage is the most severe and can be characterised by gastric ulceration; palpitations; chest pain; cardiac incident; depression and anxiety; tiredness; lack of energy and feeling depleted; physical or mental breakdown; a change in personality.
Your personality can have a big impact on your resistance to stress..........How do you rate?
A Ambitious (Very High Risk/Symptoms - Physical)
Active and energetic; impatient; conscientious; high standards; time is a problem - there's never enough; often intolerant of others who are slower.
B Placid (Very Low Risk/Symptoms - Physical)
Quiet; very little worries this type; often uncompetitive; puts energies into things that can be altered and leaves others to worry about the rest.
C Worrying (Very High Risk/Symptoms - Mental)
Nervous; highly strung; not very confident of own ability; anxious of future and being able to cope.
D Carefree (Low Risk/Symptoms - Physical)
Loves variety; often athletic and daring; not a worrier; not concerned about the future.
E Suspicious (Moderate Risk/Symptoms - Mental & Physical)
Dedicated and serious; very concerned with others' opinions of them; doesn't take criticism kindly and remembers every one for a long time; distrusts most people.
F Dependent (Moderate Risk/Symptoms - Mental)
Bored with own company; sensitive to surroundings; relies on others a great deal; oddly, people who interest them most are unreliable; they find people they really need to be boring; don't respond easily to change.
G Fussy (Moderate Risk/Symptoms - Physical)
Punctilious; conscientious; likes set routine; doesn't like change; new problems throw this type because there are no rules to follow; conventional; predictable; may collect objects and keep them beautifully ordered; great believer in authority.
If you want to manage stress effectively, the most important element is to be able to recognise the difference between feeling under pressure/stress and feeling relaxed. Sounds simple doesn't it, but if you never really relax then you may find your idea of relaxed is actually quite high on the stress scale. Take time out regularly to do an activity that gets you REALLY relaxed, whether it's Reflexology, Indian Head Massage, Yoga, Meditation, or whatever else floats your boat ... get really relaxed - regularly!