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Warning Signs of Stress

It is common to hear “I’m just stressed out.” However, we typically think of it as a general feeling. But what does stress really look like? Stress is explained as emotional or physical tension

How stress can affect a person is unique based on the individual’s current coping skills, locus of control, and thought processing. It is crucial to be able to identify one’s warning signs of stress in order to utilize coping intervention. Otherwise the stressor can turn to a crisis. In order to identify the warning signs of stress, reflect on patterns of how your mind and body reacts to stressors.

Reactions (mind)

  • Negative self talk
  • Imagining all/worst case scenarios
  • Racing or clouded thoughts
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Over analyzing
  • Isolation

Reactions (body)

  • Loss of appetite
  • Heart racing
  • Feeling warm/redness
  • Tension in specific parts of your body
  • Clenched jaw

The remedy? Collect a variety of coping strategies and self care. These two strategies can be seen in two different purposes: distraction or processing. Distractions are useful when the stressor is out of oue control, or when unable to process in the moment. Processing focuses working through the stressor by processing the thoughts and emotions attached to the stressor. Below are some strategies that could be useful when facing stress.

  • Talk to someone about it
  • Write it down
  • Go for a walk
  • Be mindful of surroundings
  • Have a mindfulness check in
  • Utilize positive self talk
  • Listen to music
  • Art