Stress can affect people in different ways and people have different levels of tolerance and ways of dealing with it, stress can affect all walks of life including children. In childhood and adolescents there are several stress factors that children have to face, this can be starting a new school, exams, making friends, home problems such as parents separating, divorces, custody battles.

For adults stress can play a big factor in the workplace as there can be demands and deadlines to be met on a day to day basis. Becoming parents can cause a huge wave of stress, having children can cause high demands and parents can find that it is hard to cope with. With adults the type of relationships change and as people get older their maturity levels change and they may want to settle down and start a family. There are loads of factors that can cause stress.

Stress can gradually build up and sometimes creep up on us without any warning or signal that something is wrong, this is where little problems can start to occur in our lives and signs and symptoms start to show.

The effects of stress can vary between person to person, however some characteristics can be present in different levels and varying degrees. The most common effects of stress are:

Physical Effects

The physical effects can be a faster heart beat which can result in a rise in blood pressure; some people may even experience palpitations. Muscles may begin to tense up and cause feelings of dizziness and light headedness, as well as headaches and sleep problems. A person may notice they have a dry mouth and their hands may become clammy.

Mental Effects

A person may find that their thoughts are becoming jumbled or confused, and the smallest problems and making decisions become harder to deal with and find solutions for. Negative thoughts and fears may become irrational and the person may find the stress too hard to bear.

Emotional Effects

A person may find they become impatient, have high levels of anxiety, fear and self doubt. Feelings similar to depression may come apparent to those suffering with stress.

Different ways to combat stress

One way to deal with stress is to think positively and meet the stress head on and develop different ways to cope better. One good way is to notice in yourself the early warning signs of you becoming stressed. Listening to your body is a valuable skill to help yourself understand the signs of becoming stressed. Some examples to help yourself relax:

Take some you time – Everyone needs some me time, no matter how busy you are, you should put some me time into your week, taking a period of time each day just for you. Some suggestions are to have a bath or shower, read a book, listen to some music, pet your pets, if not at home then take a short break get away from your work or do some chair exercises.

Confront the problem causing the stress – To handle the problem causing the stress take a step back and have a look at all the factors in the problem. Hiding or avoiding the problem will only make it worse and make you feel worse. Being able to take things head on will help you to deal with it better.

Distraction – If you cannot solve the problem straight away, try using some distractions to help you take your mind off of the problem. The distractions can be doing a hobby or speaking to friends or family, playing with your children, spending time with a loved one, going walking or jogging.

Express yourself – one way of expressing your thoughts is to write a diary, this can be a place where you write down all your thoughts and feelings, getting your worries off your mind and onto paper, a diary can be a place that you vent everything you are feeling good or bad, plus sometimes it can help to getting everything down onto paper, it may make the problem causing you the stress much easier to deal with. Crying helps to, it can help bring anger levels down.

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