As per NHS website “stress is usually a reaction to mental or emotional pressure. It’s often related to feeling like you’re losing control over something, but sometimes there’s no obvious cause. When you’re feeling anxious or scared, your body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol”.

Stress is a normal acceptable way of life and sometimes it is helpful or even motivating to push for a certain goal or deadline or something we wish to achieve. But at other times if experienced over a prolonged period it can affect our life. It can cause many different symptoms and might affect how we physically & mentally feel and also how we behave.

Stress can manifest in different ways in each person as we are all unique.

Physical symptoms could be -

Headaches or dizziness

Muscle tension or pain

Stomach issues

Chest pain, tightness or faster heartbeats

Sexual problems

Mental symptoms of stress could be -

Difficulty in concentrating

Struggling to make decisions

Feeling overwhelmed

Constant worrying

Being forgetful

Stress can also also cause changes in our behaviour which could be -

being irritable and snappy

Sleeping too much or too little

Eating too much or too little which in turn can cause unwanted weight loss or gain

Avoiding certain places or people

Drinking or smoking more

In an ideal world no person should experience stress but in reality, this cannot be avoided.   The best one can do is to manage it. We can try many things like - stop trying to do too many things at a time. In my experience and understanding it is not possible - no one can do two things at a time. We may have an illusion of multitasking, but the fact is we can do only one thing at a time. If you disagree, just try to have two thoughts at the same time. I hope you can see there is thought number one, thought number two and then thought number three and so on. You can’t have more than one thought at a time. Sometimes rapid firing of thoughts can obscure the fact that one is occurring after the other. This brings us to being realistic in our goals and what we would like to achieve. I at the age of 50+ may have a desire to be world heavy weight boxing champion but would it be a realistic goal ? Most of us don’t live in that kind of fantasyland but we may from time to time have a long list of chores we want to do in a day, a week or so. When we can’t fulfil even half of that, we beat ourselves up and in turn create pressure and anxiety which can lead to stress. Another thing we can do is to find out what is really important to prioritise in a better way. The most important thing in my experience is to find out what is really important. It may sound so obvious but at times we are too caught up to think about that. Normally out of any “to do list” hardly 20% are important and urgent. Other things can wait and be done or dealt with at some other time. But sometimes we are too busy to even prioritise. Being constantly on the run causes the feeling of burning out and we are scared to stop fearing there are so many balls up in the air and they would fall. I suggest please stop just for a moment and take time to prioritise. It may seem unnecessary but ultimately it will help in managing everything in a better way.