Sunday, July 22, 2018

The physical and emotional affects of stress

Stress can feel horrible, especially when it is ongoing.  It can really wear us down.  The problem is that when we feel stressed we often don't sit back, take note and realise the affect it is having on us until it's already pretty bad.  By then it is already wearing us down.

Below are some of the typical signs of stress that tell us we have been trying to maintain and be strong for too long and that the situation we find ourselves in is taking its toll:

Physical and emotional signs of stress

Physical manifestations:

Emotional manifestations:

  • Bruxism:
    Jaw clenching, teeth grinding, chewing at side of mouth, mouth ulcers
  • Changes from ‘typical’ behaviour
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Facial expression
  • Hair greying, hair loss
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Increased need to urinate frequently
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of appetite / comfort eating / eating disorders
  • Less concerned about appearance
  • Looking pale, tired, ‘washed out’
  • Muscle tension in face neck, shoulders and back
  • Pacing, walking of adrenaline
  • Palpitations
  • Panic attacks
  • Poor time keeping
  • Posture ‘closed off’, withdrawing, avoiding eye contact
  • Raised veins
  • Reduced patience, angry outbursts
  • Reduced productivity
  • ‘Release’ behaviours:
    hand wringing, nail biting, hair pulling, scratching, scramming, nail digging, self-harm
  • Seeking to be prescribed medication
  • Self-medication (alcohol, comfort eating)
  • Short term memory, ‘drawing a blank’
  • Speaking quickly
  • Supressed immune system:
    Skin flare-ups, psoriasis, eczema, cold sores
  • Tearfulness
  • Tension headaches
  • Addictions
  • Attention seeking, needing to re-establish sense of connection
  • Being emotionally over-sensitive
  • Bullying, being bullied
  • Catastrophizing
  • Denial, deceiving self and / or others
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling isolated, loneliness
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loss of humour
  • Low mood, diagnosed depression
  • Mania
  • Memory loss, short-term memory and longer term ‘blanking out’
  • Mistrust in others not to let them down, scepticism
  • OCD rituals, controlling over the areas in life they can
  • Paranoia
  • Procrastination
  • Self-depreciation
  • Shutting down, catatonic
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Suicidal intention, with or without a plan
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Tearfulness, crying
  • Withdrawal, emotional and social

Photo of Emma
(This is me in my friend's garden)
I offer counselling for helping people deal with the things that bring them stress, anxiety and/or depression.  I help them to improve their self-esteem and boost their emotional resilience.

I also offer non-invasive complementary therapies, where you remain fully-clothed, to help with the physical aches and pains that can affect your sleep, your mood, your day to day life and your general well-being.

If you would like find out more, please visit my main website at

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