We all have experienced some form and level of stress. But what are the symptoms? Well first of all those experiencing very high levels of stress will certainly feel the adverse affect it has on their body and subsequently on their behaviour. Their mind will almost certainly be in overdrive and their sense of well being will be low. They may well have been suffering from stress for a considerable period of time before these symptoms became noticeable.
Those suffering badly tend to feel ‘less important’ than they used to feel, as their self esteem takes a sharp spiral in a downward direction. They become more and more anxious, and their mood becomes changeable and erratic. They often fear the worst as their troubled mind races away with them. They worry continuously, usually unnecessarily. They analyse over and over again all the possible scenarios that may or may not result of any given situation or situations. Their mind is in turmoil. Often their moods are very bad indeed, which leads to verbal outbursts of seemingly irrational abuse, even to those who they love the most. They seldom sit down for any reasonable period to eat and therefore their eating habits become irregular.
Their whole body becomes tense and starts to suffer as a consequence. Their muscles tense up giving pain to various parts of their anatomy. Their neck can be particularly affected, becoming very painful indeed with restricted movement. This tension causes headaches and as a result lots of pain killers are needed and therefore taken for temporary relief. However, as their body becomes accustomed to the taking of these pills etc. more and more pain killers are needed to give the same level of pain relief. Inevitably they are then on a path of either continuously increased dosage or devouring even more powerful drugs in order for them to function. If they are smokers, they smoke more and many resort to drinking excessive quantities of alcohol, often during the day in order to get some relief. This alcohol intake does help some to achieve a feeling of well being. However it is short lived as when they awake their anxiety increases dramatically as they probably suffer from dehydration. This only makes the situation far worse.
Symptoms are always noticed by others, especially those who know the sufferer well. They see them ‘never sitting still’ always ‘on the go’ and their energy levels continuously high. It is also possible, that the sufferer perspires as a result of talking rapidly and without any apparent direction. In their exited state they can become breathless as they do not take in enough Oxygen whilst speaking. Simply telling them to ‘get a grip’ or ‘pull themselves together’ can often exacerbate the situation, thus making the sufferer worse, especially with increased verbal abuse…
Their mouth becomes dry and therefore their liquid intake increases significantly as a result. It results in more visits to the toilet and they may well have bladder and/or stomach problems. This can lead to various diseases including cancers, strokes etc. if allowed to continue for a long period of time untreated. Their sex life is often adversely affected as it can lead to sexual dysfunction and that presents its own set of problems putting an extra negative effect on their marriage.
Their work ethic deteriorates and they are on a very steep downward slope, and if not rectified can have a severe adverse affect on their financial situation and that, of course, will make the problem for them and their family much worse.
There are many techniques that can be employed to help reduce stress but it would help enormously if the sufferer is aware that they are suffering and accepts that they do need help and therefore are not paying ‘lip service’ just to satisfy a loved one.
I myself have suffered high levels of stress and know just how dreadful it is. It can become quite debilitating. It sometimes takes courage to admit that you are a sufferer. But by accepting that you need help you are on the first step to recovery.
For many people, simply ‘getting away from it all’ is very helpful. Being surrounded by beautiful countryside without the general day to day problems can have a positive effect. If you are suffering, or indeed have identified that a loved one is suffering, you may consider a holiday ‘away from the madding crowd’.
I run ‘stress relief courses’ from my tranquil away from it all Villa in the Portuguese Algarve.
I have helped hundreds of individuals, especially in industry, who are experiencing hypertension, usually caused by business related problems. Sometimes, simply having a break from the grueling day to day grind of everyday living helps. With others more is needed. Therefore my approach is to find the ‘root cause’ of stress and eradicate it and not simply treating the symptoms. I run mentoring workshops in my wonderful tranquil Villa in the Algarve, Portugal.