Almost half of British adults feel stressed at least every few days and we feel our lives are becoming more stressful. Some stress can actually be good for us. Moderate and short lived stress can help us deal better with pressure situations like job interviews. Some people also find stressful situations (like high pressure scenarios or high risk leisure activities) exciting and exhilarating.
But once stress becomes a longer term issue and goes beyond the “short and moderate,” it can lead to health problems.
So just how do you know if you’re stressed to the point of it being a problem? Here’s a handy guide for any of you questioning, “Am I stressed?”
Emotional Responses to Stress
- Emotionally, those suffering with stress often feel:
- Overwhelmed regularly
- Irritable and edgy
- Lacking in self confidence
If you find yourself experiencing these feelings regularly, it’s possible that you may be suffering stress
Mental Symptoms of Stress
If you’re experiencing stress, you may find it particularly difficult to make decisions. Similarly, you may find your ability to concentrate is diminished and you experience racing thoughts and worries.
Feeling a little worried from time to time is perfectly normal. But if you find yourself dealing with frequent worries like the above, you may be stressed.
Physical Symptoms of Stress
Stress can also manifest itself in physical symptoms. It can cause headaches and dizziness, as well as leading to trouble sleeping and muscle tension or pain.
A physical feeling or exhaustion can often be a result of stress. And it also causes some people to crave sugary and fat food, while leading others to undereat.
Stress causes elevated blood levels of cortisol. Find out how stressed your body is with a simple finger-prick cortisol test, which can be done conveniently at home and sent direct to our lab for analysis.
If you’re experiencing any combination of the above symptoms or you find you have elevated cortisol levels, speak to your GP. He or she can advise on the best next steps to help you to get stress under control and alleviate some of these unpleasant symptoms.