are all familiar with the word "stress." Stress
is when you are worried about getting laid off
your job, or worried about not having enough money
to pay your bills, or worried about your mother
when the doctor says she may need an operation.
In fact, to most of us, stress is synonymous with
body, however, has a much broader definition
of stress. To your body, stress is synonymous
with change. Anything that causes a change
in your life causes stress. It doesn't matter
if it is a "good" change, or a "bad" change.
They are both stressful. Even when you find
your dream home and get ready to move, that
is stressful. If you break your leg, that
is stressful. Good or bad, change is stress
as far as your body is concerned.
Term Physical Symptoms
Term Performance Effects
Term Physical Symptoms
Internal Symptoms of Long Term
Symptoms of Long Term Stress
These mainly occur as your body adapts to perceived
physical threat, and are caused by release of adrenaline.
Although you may perceive these as unpleasant and
negative, they are signs that your body is ready
for the explosive action that assists survival or
Faster heart beat
Cold hands and feet
Feelings of nausea, or 'Butterflies in stomach'
A desire to urinate
These are the symptoms of survival stress.
While adrenaline helps you survive in a 'fight-or-flight'
situation, it does have negative effects in situations
where this is not the case:
It interferes with clear judgement and makes it
difficult to take the time to make good decisions.
It can seriously reduce your enjoyment of your work
Where you need good physical skills it gets in the
way of fine motor control.
It causes difficult situations to be seen as a threat,
not a challenge.
It damages the positive frame of mind you need for
high quality work by:
promoting negative thinking,
disrupting focus and concentration and
making it difficult to cope with distractions
It consumes mental energy in distraction, anxiety,
frustration and temper. This is energy that should
be devoted to the work in hand.
These occur where your body has been exposed to
adrenaline over a long period. One of the ways adrenaline
prepares you for action is by diverting resources
to the muscles from the areas of the body which
carry out body maintenance. This means that if you
are exposed to adrenaline for a sustained period,
then your health may start to deteriorate. This
may show up in the following ways:
illnesses such as:
aches and pains
feelings of intense and long-term tiredness
When you are under stress or have been tired for
a long period of time you may find that you are
less able to think clearly and rationally about
problems. This can lead to the following internal
Worry or anxiety
Confusion, and an inability to concentrate or make
Feeling out of control or overwhelmed by events
Impatience & irritability
Being more lethargic
Drinking more alcohol and smoking more
Changing eating habits
Reduced sex drive
Relying more on medication
When you or other people are under pressure, this
can show as:
Talking too fast or too loud
Fiddling and twitching, nail biting, grinding teeth,
drumming fingers, pacing, etc.
Overreaction and reacting emotionally
Reduced personal effectiveness:
Being unreasonably negative
Making less realistic judgements
Being unable to concentrate and having difficulty
Being more forgetful
Making more mistakes
Being more accident prone
Changing work habits
Neglect of personal appearance
symptoms of stress should not be taken in isolation
- other factors could cause them. However if you
find yourself exhibiting or recognising a number
of them, then it would be worth investigating stress