Stress is a sneaky little number. Put simply, stress is the feeling of being under too much pressure and of being unable to cope. As humans, we are designed to cope with a certain amount of stress and, to add to its shapeshifting characteristics, what may be stressful for one person can be motivating and stimulating for another. Stress is a mighty big subject to cover in one little blog. So, here at OutdoorCureOnline we have decided to dedicate the next two blog posts to our sneaky little friend. This week we will look at how we can spot the signs of stress, and next week at what we can do to manage it.
Stress can affect us in lots of different ways – physically, mentally and emotionally. Often, we do not recognise we are ‘stressed’ until it has floored us with its presence. It is a whole lot harder to take steps to get out of that situation because we now feel overwhelmed and trapped. Let’s take a look, in our famous 7 steps guide, at how we can recognise the signs of stress in ourselves.
The OutdoorCureOnline 7 Step Stress-spotters Guide for Beginners:
1) Remember that stress will manifest itself in different ways in different people. It is helpful to know how our bodies and mind react to stress but keep in mind you will feel it in a way that is individual to you.
2) Get to know how stress feels for you. Pay attention to your body. Feelings will often have a physical origin so take some time out and do a quick ‘body scan’ starting from your head, going down to your toes and notice the sensations you are feeling.
3) Unplug! Constant access to our phones, tablets etc detaches and distracts us from what we are feeling. Take time out, even if its just a few minutes a couple of times a day.
4) Practice checking in with how you are feeling. It will feel very unfamiliar at first but with practice you will be able to identify how you are feeling more readily. Put time aside to do it – set an alarm if you have a busy lifestyle or keep forgetting.
5) Expand your ‘feelings vocabulary’ by researching and exploring it. There are a lot of feelings out there and often we find it difficult to put words to how we are feeling. If you put a little time into it, identifying your feelings will become more accessible and easier for you.
6) Write it out – it does not have to be structured or organised. Just simply write down whatever comes to mind and when you are done look back over it and see what feelings or thoughts come up for you. You may notice a pattern or theme if you complete this exercise regularly.
7) Simplify it. If the question ‘how am I feeling?’ feels too big to answer, break it down. Ask yourself differently – perhaps if you feel good, bad or neutral about something. From this you may get some interesting results.
We hope you feel armed with the tools to start identifying and spotting the signs of stress. Practice over the next week and check in with us next week as we look at how you can manage it rather than letting it take up residence in you.