Are You Suffering from Distress?

The answer depends not on how much stress is in your life, but on how you react to it.

Take a moment to look at this checklist of “distress signals,” the body’s way of telling you that you’re feeling stressed.

PHYSICAL SIGNALS
muscle tension (headaches, neck and back pain, chest pain)
high blood pressure
insomnia, loss of appetite
lower resistance to infection
shortness of breath
trembling
upset stomach
nervous tics
teeth grinding
cold and sweaty hands
sweating
rashes
diarrhea or constipation
BEHAVIORAL SIGNALS
insomnia or too much sleep
appetite changes
unexplained crying
overuse of alcohol or drugs
fidgeting
forgetfulness
EMOTIONAL SIGNALS
depression
irritability
anxietyicon, nervousness
apathy
impatience

If you checked several of these off, you may be suffering from stress. Common sources of stress are difficulties at home or work that you don’t know how to resolve, too much change in your life or very life-changing events, such as a death in the family, divorce or even positive changes such as a new job or spouse.

You may want to explore some strategies for reducing stress in your life and coping with the stress that you can’t eliminate. Find a stress management program in your area that can teach you proven coping skills and relaxation techniques. Ask your doctor, local hospital, employee assistance program or community mental health services for a referral.

 

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