5 Key Signs of Stress and How to Manage Them

Stress can significantly affect everything you do; therefore it’s important that we don't ignore the signs.

Blue Monday – according to reports is the most depressing day of the year.  Whether you believe in Blue Monday or not; stress can significantly affect everything you do and some people struggle to cope with stress.

Therefore it’s important that we don’t ignore the signs of stress throughout the year.

So we asked Russell Hoyles who has 32 years in the field of emotional wellbeing and mental health, to explain five key signs of stress.

1) Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels at some point in their life, but for some people, it can be an ongoing problem.

Russell explains that “a little anxiety is usually fine; however, long-term anxiety may cause more serious problems. Some patients benefit from therapy to help identify what is causing anxiety and I can offer them support so that they can manage their life and feelings better”.

If you are concerned about anxiety or suffer from panic attacks you should speak to your GP and consider seeking therapy such as that offered by Russell Hoyles.

2) Eye strain or twitching

Eye fatigue is a common sign that our eyes don’t get a rest and the muscles can tire. For some people, a lack of sleep, anxiety or computer eye strain can cause twitching eyelids.

Russell explains that “in the short term, you can avoid using your smartphone in your break. Give your eyes, brain and nervous system a rest by getting away from screens as often as possible. Resist picking up your phone as soon as you wake up and make clear boundaries for checking emails and social media etc”.

If you are concerned about eye strain, or if it is beginning to cause physical symptoms i.e. headaches, double vision or changed vision, it is important to speak to your GP or optician.

3) Headaches and Tension

Clenching of the jaw is an instinctive response to stressful situations which can lead to facial tension. Furthermore, anxiety can make what would be regular jaw pain more noticeable, because your mind can’t stop focusing on the discomfort.

Russell explains that “sometimes breathing exercises can loosen tension in the jaw. It is important that you recognise the cause of tension so you can deal with it. I offer my patients space where we can understand the causes of headaches and or tensions”.

If you are concerned about your headaches or you suffer from physical symptoms that may be a result of tension it’s important to speak to your GP.

4) Irritable, Intolerant or angry

Anger is a normal response to pain, injustice or when we are in danger. Sometimes it can cause us to snap or lash out at others.

Russell explains that “feeling frustrated, irritated or resentful usually eats away at our mental and physical health. It’s really important that you remove yourself from the situation and find a place where you can calm yourself and reflect”.

5) Stomach Cramps

Sometimes the body can translate emotional or mental stress into physical symptoms such as abdominal cramps.

This tends to happen in situations as such as presenting to large audiences or receiving some very bad news such as a death of a loved one. It can also happen where stress and anxiety are experienced over a prolonged period of time.

Russell explains that “abdominal pain caused by stress isn’t usually serious, but can be very bothersome. The key is to identify the cause of stress and keep a diary documenting the abdominal pain. I find it helps patients to discuss in privately their causes of stress and tension. I can also offer them relaxation exercises to help relieve tensions at work or in their private life”.

If you are concerned about abdominal pain and/or it has lasted for more than two weeks you should speak to your GP.

Final words

If you’re finding it very hard to cope with things going on in your life and experience lots of signs of stress there is support available that could help. To access most treatments, the first step is usually to talk to your GP. They may recommend some form of Counselling, Cognitive behavioural therapy, and Life Coaching or relaxation therapies such as Clinical Hypnotherapy.

About Russell

Russell Hoyles has 32 years experience in the field of mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Specialising in:

  • Weight management
  • Anxiety, Stress and mood disorders
  • Fears and Phobias
  • Sports performance

Registered with the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council and with advanced qualifications as a Mental Health Practitioner Russell Hoyles offers clinical hypnotherapy in addition to counselling, life coaching, and mind management.

Russell Hoyles offers a no-obligation free consultation. For more information, you can contact him on 0792121228 or info@russellhoyles.co.uk

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