Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's Wellbeing Service is offering advice on spotting the signs of stress to help mark National Stress Awareness Day.National Stress Awareness Day is Wednesday 5 November and the theme is Stress: the balancing act. It is sometimes difficult to keep the balance right in terms of work, play and lifestyle. Recognising the signs of stress early and taking active steps to manage symptoms can make a big positive difference to everyday life Nesta Reeve, consultant clinical psychologist, said: "Stress is a very common issue and has an impact on every area of life including home life, relationships, family life, physical health and work."It's important to recognised that stress is not good for you and not a positive thing. Stress creates unhealthy biological reactions, and prolonged stress can lead to both physical and mental health problems."There is a big difference between feeling under a bit of positive pressure and stress. Stress only happens when people feel they don't have control over events."People in Norfolk and Suffolk, who are registered with a GP, and think they are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression, can refer themselves to the NHS Wellbeing Service. Please call 0300 123 1503 in Norfolk and 0300 123 1781 in Suffolk or visit www.readytochange.org.uk
Signs of stressThese are some of the symptoms that are indicators of too much pressure that can come from yourself, work, home, any combination of, or maybe even all three.Psychological signs: Inability to concentrate or make simple decisionsMemory lapsesBecoming rather vagueEasily distractedLess intuitive & creativeWorryingNegative thinkingDepression & anxietyEmotional signs:TearfulIrritableMood swingsExtra sensitive to criticismDefensiveFeeling out of controlLack of motivationAngryFrustratedLack of confidenceLack of self-esteemPhysical signs:Aches/pains & muscle tension/grinding teethFrequent colds/infectionsAllergies/rashes/skin irritationsConstipation/diarrhoea/ IBSWeight loss or gainIndigestion/heartburn/ulcersHyperventilating/lump in the throat/pins & needlesDizziness/palpitationsPanic attacks/nauseaPhysical tirednessMenstrual changes/loss of libido/sexual problemsHeart problems/high blood pressureBehavioural signs:No time for relaxation or pleasurable activitiesProne to accidents, forgetfulnessIncreased reliance on alcohol, smoking, caffeine, recreational or illegal drugsBecoming a workaholicPoor time management and/or poor standards of workAbsenteeismSelf neglect/change in appearanceSocial withdrawalRelationship problemsInsomnia or waking tiredRecklessAggressive/anger outburstsNervousUncharacteristically lyingThe symptoms that affect you will often accumulate until you are forced to take notice of them. Don't rationalise the symptoms away, if you are not sure – get in touch with the NHS Wellbeing Service or your GP.