Am I Stressed or Is This Normal?

In a high paced world feeling stressed may have become normal. You may not remember when you last felt relaxed and at ease.

What are the symptoms of being stressed? Stress can be recognised by checking a couple of things, such as:

  1. Do I sleep well?
  2. Do I sleep enough?
  3. Am I tolerant/accepting?
  4. Do I see my friends?
  5. Do I have time for romance/intimacy?
  6. Do I cook healthily?
  7. Do I enjoy my meals?
  8. Do I take time for my hobbies?
  9. Can I sit still?
  10. Can I truly listen to a friend?
  11. Do I like myself?
  12. Do others see me as being happy and relaxed?
  13. Can I enjoy nature, art, theatre, music etc.?
  14. Do I take time to meditate or pray?
  15. Do I trust the unfolding of my life?

How many of the above asked questions have you answered with Yes? Count them. Anything between 10 to 15 times means you are doing great. You have a perfect work-life balance and yes, you are ‘normal’.

Anything between 5 and 10 means you have to start paying attention to your priorities. If you don’t start taking some time out for yourself and your loved ones, you may end up feeling very unhappy and unhealthy. But you’re on time to choose for your wellbeing. In doing so, you will also perform better at work, and everyone will benefit!

Anything between 0 and 5 means you are definitely stressed. This can’t go on forever. You have to change some habits. Stress can affect your health and happiness immensely. It can cause sickness and depression.

In their article on Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. identify the following Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms:

Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms
Cognitive Symptoms Emotional Symptoms
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness
Physical Symptoms Behavioral Symptoms
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds
  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

And they add: ‘Keep in mind that the signs and symptoms of stress can also be caused by other psychological or medical problems. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs of stress, it’s important to see a doctor for a full evaluation. Your doctor can help you determine whether or not your symptoms are stress-related.’ Read their full article here.

The easiest, quickest and most effective exercise to reduce stress instantly is Heart Focused Breathing. In Heart Focused Breathing we imagine breathing through our hearts. The exercise allows for coherence*. When you are in a coherent state, your thoughts and emotions are balanced and you experience ease and inner harmony.

You don’t have to put up with stress, no matter how normal it may have become.

Take care of yourself, allow yourself to be healthy and happy. If this means there are some choices to be made that are really very difficult, have the courage to make them anyway. If you need support in doing this, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

To feeling happy and relaxed,

Miriam Aziz

* What is coherence? ‘Personal coherence, also known as psychophysiological coherence, refers to the synchronization of our physical, mental and emotional systems. It can be measured by our heart-rhythm patterns: The more balanced and smooth they are, the more in sync, or coherent we are. Stress levels recede, energy levels increase and our brain and what HeartMath calls the “heart brain” work together. It is a state of optimal clarity, perception and performance. HeartMath tools and technology have been scientifically proven to help us achieve personal coherence.

Global coherence refers to the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of the greater community of human beings acting in concert with their own hearts, each other and nation to nation in harmony with the living earth. HeartMath believes coherence is highly achievable globally when large numbers of people focus heartfelt intentions on a common goal.’ From: HeartMath Institute

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