Recognising Stress

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Recognising stress is not always easy as people can become withdrawn or cover up how they are coping very well and they may seem to you to be fine and happy but this may just be a front they are putting up to protect themselves so no one knows what they are feeling.

Signs you may be able to see include them becoming agitated, snappy, argumentative, rushing about, disorganised, grumpy, tired, sleepy, withdrawn, emotional or aggressive. These are just a few signs and different signs will show in different people and not everyone gets the same signs.  Look for differences in how they act or interact with others. They may be very quiet at meetings when they used to be inclusive.

Work quality can be a sign of stress. Someone who was very good at their job and worked hard may now be making mistakes, taking a long time to get tasks done and forgetting basic things.

Emotional symptoms include crying or tearful, boredom, angry or feeling useless.

There are different groups of symptoms of stress and these are Emotional, Physical, Cognitive and behavioural.

Physical symptoms are things like headaches, dizziness, stomach problems, indigestion, chest pain, hyperventilation, skin problems, sleep problems, tiredness, feeling sick, low resistance to infections like colds and joint or muscle pain.

Behavioural symptoms include taking drugs, excessive drinking, smoking, not getting involved with others, fidgeting, tapping feet, biting nails or being irritable or grumpy.

Cognitive symptoms include loss of sense of humour, being forgetful, worrying about things all the time, inability to make decisions and making bad decisions.

Stress can affect any part or different parts of the body and it will affect different people in different ways. Some people may not even realise they are under stress.