so you think you are stressed!

Stress is often described as a feeling of being overloaded, wound-up, tense and worried. We all experience stress at times. It can sometimes help to motivate us to get a task finished, or perform well. But stress can also be harmful if we become over-stressed, and it interferes with our ability to get on with our normal life for too long.

When we face a stressful event, our bodies respond by activating the nervous system and releasing hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones cause physical changes in the body which help us to react quickly and effectively to get through the stressful situation. This is sometimes called the ‘fight or flight’ response. The hormones increase our heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, metabolism and muscle tension. Our pupils dilate and our perspiration rate increases. Some symptoms of stress include:

  • Failure to concentrate

  • Poor judgment
  • Memory problems
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Low immune system
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Loss or extra gain of appetite
  • Moodiness or feeling tearful
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Weakened immune system
  • Anger, irritability
  • Upset stomach, indigestion, diarrhoea