The Impact of Stress

The impact of stress can be experienced in a wide range of our functioning, even compromising the basics such as mood, sleep or appetite regulation.  The way we respond to stressors can play a role in any of the following:

Thoughts and Thinking

Worry; worrying about future events
Tormented by memories of the past; regrets
Venting, negative mind set, negative state, negative self talk, toxic person
Lack of perspective, lack of ability to see the humour
Consistently taking oneself seriously
Rigidity instead of flexibility
Obsessions
Compulsions
Fears, fear of the unknown, fear of “authority”, over concern for what the others think
Perfectionism; unrealistic personal expectations and expectations of others
Distorted thinking, catastrophizing, all-or-nothing, black or white thinking, over thinking, second-guessing
Invasive thoughts, repetitive thoughts
Distraction, poor concentration, lack of focus

Feelings and Emotions

Anxiety
Social anxiety
Uneasiness, agitation, feeling troubled
Tension, touchiness, edginess
Feeling hostile
Feeling unloved
Feeling like an “outsider”
Irritability, frustration, anger, short fuse, temper tantrums
Joyless day-to-day life, cheerlessness, feeling burdened
Depression, feeling down or blue
Feelings of guilt
Often struggling with disappointment, shock, surprise
Highly sensitive
Emotional upset
Feeling bad and miserable
Decreased sense of self confidence, self worth, self esteem, lack of assertiveness
Roller-coaster feelings, mood swings
Feelings of being overwhelmed, “can’t cope”, “swamped”
Feeling like jacking it all in and going to live on a deserted beach in the Caribbean forever…

Behavioural

Relationship issues
Inability to say “no”
Codependence
Work life balance
Work absenteeism
Poor work performance
Decreased life satisfaction
Excessive drinking
Smoking leading to health issues
Eating leading to weight gain
Overindulgence in video games, TV, Internet surfing, screen time
Loneliness
Workaholism
Disorganization, lack of ability to make plans
Biting nails, picking scabs
Procrastination
No to-do list or overwhelming to-do list
Lack of effective routine
Challenged to prepare effectively meals, grocery shopping, cooking, lunches
Difficulties preparing for work or preparing for time off
Not distinguishing between urgent and important
Poor time management
Always in a rush, always late
Difficulty making decisions whether large or small
Lack of effective budgeting or financial planning
Clutter, hoarding, avoiding cleaning

Physical

Shallow breathing
Hypertension, high blood pressure
Heart palpitations, heart problems
Low energy, fatigue
Burnout
Sleep issues, insomnia, waking in night
Headaches, aches, pains
Stomach aches
Gastrointestinal problems, poor digestion, acid reflux, bad breath
Loss of appetite or irregular appetite
Hair falling out
Chronic heartburn
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Constipation, diarrhea
Asthma
Out-of-control blood sugar levels in diabetics
Problems of a compromised immune system; frequent colds, viruses, cold sores
Slow healing of cuts, wounds, infections
Circulation issues in legs due to arteries and veins tightening for the fight-flight response
Muscle cramps in legs night or day

It does not have to be this way…

Nobody chooses to suffer from any of the debilitating conditions associated with stress listed above.  The great news is that for all the stress-related neurotransmitters and hormones, there are as many – and more – that function to have us feeling good.  Becoming aware of the science behind how we feel empowers us to take matters into our own hands in order to feel our best.

Click here to jump to the next post: The Science of Feeling Good