How do YOU recognize stress?

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How do YOU recognize stress? Empty How do YOU recognize stress?

Post by ShelleyM on Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:58 pm

Hello,

I don't recognize that I am experiencing stress. I know my body must be feeling it because of the hours I work, the immense challenge my job used to be, and family issues. I was wondering if you guys would share the ways your bodies and minds register stress?

Thanks!
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Post by Annieh on Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:34 am

I sometimes think I'm not a particularly self aware person, as I do not say to myself, "Oh look,  there I go running to the biscuit jar again, I must be feeling stressed." No, I just eat half a packet of biscuits and then spend the afternoon trying not to fall asleep at my work.  Then later after cooking and eating a decent meal, sigh contentedly and say as if it's never happened before "Well! That feels better!!"

So some of the signs (which admittedly I am more likely to notice after the fact):
Sugar cravings
Grumpiness/intolerant feelings
Edginess - jumping at loud noises, teeth set on edge by cutlery jangling,
Clenched jaw, tight neck or shoulders
Butterflies in the tummy

In hindsight I may realise there were hormonal reasons, or emotional reasons or whatever, but it's irrelevant really. Whatever the cause, real or imagined, physical, emotional or unknown, rather than giving attention or trying to deal with the symptoms directly, the indirect approach of making sure physical needs for water, rest, movement and wholesome food are met will either alleviate the symptoms or strengthen me to cope or ride them out.

I have definitely found time in nature to have a therapeutic effect. Not only at the time, but it sort of accumulates and creates a sense of wellbeing that lasts into the others days when I don't get out there. Conversely, though, it has decreased my tolerance for artificial environments like shopping malls and concrete.

Also, as a Christian, I realise (even if I don't always remember to apply it) that there is absolutely no reason to hold onto any stress in my body as I can "cast my burdens onto Jesus for He cares for me". Sounds simple, and it actually is.
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Post by Narrowminded on Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:31 am

I have to second Annie in how she registers stress. And I also have to second that I may head for the biscuits (cookies), candy etc and that never makes me feel better. What does make me feel better and more balanced is a very good meal of balanced protein, carbs and fat.

Now I know all this, the tougher question is why I don’t apply it consistently.

And like Annie, I too cast my burdens onto Him. The harder part is leaving them there. Much like the food situation.
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Post by ShelleyM on Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:16 pm

I recognize it! Maybe it is because I was trying to pay attention. A friend referred a job opportunity to me on Friday. I needed to get my cover letter/resume updated, and complete the online application process by Monday.

My son asked me to go to Ft. Worth with him Friday night. His preemie, my grandchild, was transferred there Thursday night. BabyK is in NICU there and will most likely be there for quite some time. He needs to get big and strong enough for surgery. I had planned to save my trips to support them for when there was a crisis or when the surgery was scheduled.

Given that and the job opportunity work I needed to do, I told him no. I quickly relented when my husband informed me my son was asking because HE needed me, not BabyK. I knew I would not work on the job stuff driving or while there. I felt anxious about that. I know how long it takes me to write things. I am a perfectionist. The anxiousness showed up at continued thinking about the Monday deadline. It was just a nagging feeling in my head. I didn't notice any physical feelings from it at all.

During the drive, I spoke with my son about letting me initiate a GoFundMe campaign. He is adamantly opposed to accepting financial help from anyone. He is still quite young, 23, and hasn't learned yet that some things are just bigger than ourselves and you MUST reach out for help. He agreed, not entirely happily, but an agreement is an agreement. I felt it needed to get written and posted quickly — more writing.

I spent all day Sunday working on the GoFundMe thing and tried to stay up Sunday night to work on the cover letter/resume. In my mind, the deadline was "by" Monday, not "on" Monday. I was stressed because I knew I was going to miss the deadline and then stressed all day Monday working on the documents.

I was intensely focused on these tasks and could feel vague irritation when someone interrupted, to the point of not providing my attention when someone wanted to engage. I acknowledged individuals but didn't shift my entire focus to them. Usually, when I am busy, I can set whatever I am doing aside to interact with those around me. I need to be conscious of expressing my need for "focus time" so that I do not hurt people with my distraction.

I am still not sure I felt any physical ramifications from the stress. I didn't eat yesterday until I got home. I wasn't hungry all day. Was it the stress that decreased my appetite or was I just in laser focus mode?


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Post by Narrowminded on Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:46 am

I’m happy to hear you recognized the stress, even if it was afterward.
You now have a baseline to look at when you are concerned. Your lack of hunger could have been either.
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