Stress in excess is also the cause of a wide range of disorders, both mental and physical. A healthy diet seems to make us more resilient to excess stress, but we need to be aware of the symptoms, and take control of our own lives. Stress can result from any situation where we feel we are not confident, and in control. Such situations cannot always be avoided, but we can recognise the symptoms and take steps to reduce the level of stress that we experience.
Stress can result in difficulty in sleeping, or sleeping too much when we don't want to wake up and face the world. It can cause appetite problems, indigestion and stomach upsets, diarrhoea and frequent urination. It can produce headaches, muscle tension, clenched jaws and grinding teeth. It can result in nervousness, mood swings, irritability and angry outbursts.
Identifying the sources of stress and recognising how they are effecting you is the first step to keeping stress under control. If possible stop for a few minutes and take several slow deep breaths before continuing, and ensure you get a good night's sleep.
- Avoid drinking tea, coffee or alcohol after mid afternoon.
- Ensure you have enough exercise every day.
- Check that your bed is comfortable and your bedroom at a reasonable temperature.
- Don't watch exciting TV or video programmes - or the news - last thing at night.
- Keep a pad and pen by the bed and jot down any ideas you want to remember, don't try to solve your problems last thing at night.