7 Emotional symptoms of stress

Emotional symptoms of stress
Emotional stress can be like living in the darkness

Prolonged exposure to stress can play havoc with your emotions. Emotional instability and mood swings are common. The consequences of this emotional instability are many and varied, including illness, isolation and increased conflict. The emotional symptoms of stress are not often expressed outwardly. They are often expressed inwardly, towards oneself. This can make the emotional symptoms of stress more difficult to recognize than the physical, behavioral, and psychological symptoms.

7 Emotional symptoms of stress

The most common emotional symptoms of stress include:

1. Restlessness

Stress can make it very difficult to relax. The body and mind experience increased arousal and it becomes difficult to stay focused on the present moment.

2. Worry

Although it is one of the most useless emotions known to man; most of us experience some level of worry in our daily lives. Many people can keep things in perspective, often by focusing on how they are going to resolve the worrying issue. Some people, however, are incapable of putting these things in perspective. Although a neutral observer might recognize that the worrying events are highly unlikely to occur; to the worried person they are realistic, highly probable outcomes.

3. Frustration

Frustration tolerance refers to our ability to cope with difficult, challenging and mundane tasks. Tasks which need to be done but we may not enjoy or find comfortable. Few, if any, people are fortunate to have a job which consists solely of tasks which they enjoy and find easy. Those with a high frustration tolerance realize this and recognize that these jobs have to be done. They are able to apply themselves to get the work done as effectively as possible.

Those with low frustration tolerance lack the ability to apply themselves to these tasks. They get frustrated easily, often give up and make slow progress in getting the work completed. This leads to a lack of progress, and a backlog of work which in turn increase stress levels.

4. Impatience

Stressed individuals tend to lack the ability to relax and wait for things to run their course. They want to see immediate results regardless of whether it is possible or not.

5. Resentment

Seeing others succeed while you feel like you are struggling through is not something that stressed people find easy to cope with. They feel that others should be suffering too and that those who do not appear to be suffering must be not be working as hard as they are.

6. Anger

Stressed people are constantly irritable and on edge. This combined with high levels of impatience and low frustration tolerance can mean that anger is never far away. It may seem that they get angry about the smallest things, when, in fact, it’s a build up of events which they have failed to deal with. The latest issue merely pushes them over the edge.

7. Helplessness

Sufferers of prolonged stress may develop a sense of helplessness over time. They may have tried many different approaches to improve their situation with little or no improvement. This can lead to a belief that there is nothing they can do to change their situation.

The emotional symptoms of stress can be difficult to identify. They often appear to be short-term, sudden reactions. They rarely are though. They are often emotions that have developed and become entrenched as a result of an inability to deal with life’s difficulties. Being familiar with the emotional symptoms of stress will help you to identify what you, and others may be going through. This provides an opportunity to intervene.


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