Mental Stress

What Is Mental Stress?

Mental stress can include a number of emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations. It often results from situations that are perceived as taxing or challenging and can range from mild to intense. Mental stress is a very real and unavoidable part of life; however, it can become problematic if it overwhelms someone and leads to negative consequences.

Signs and Symptoms of Mental Stress

The signs and symptoms of mental stress can vary from person to person, but some common signs and symptoms may include:

  • Anger or irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Panic attacks
  • Poor concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression or sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Trouble remembering things
  • Physical symptoms (e.g. headaches, stomach problems)

Consequences Of Mental Stress

The consequences of mental stress can be serious if it goes unchecked; people who are experiencing stress over long periods of time may have difficulties with their health, relationships, and career. Some common consequences of mental stress include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Health problems such as headaches or stomach issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Low job performance
  • Lack of motivation

How To Manage Mental Stress

Managing mental stress can take some time and effort, but it can help to reduce the negative effects of stress. Some strategies for managing mental stress include:

  • Talking to a counsellor or therapist
  • Practicing relaxation techniques (e.g. yoga, meditation, deep-breathing)
  • Making time for yourself and doing things you enjoy
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a balanced and healthy diet
  • Finding ways to reduce stress in your daily life (e.g. getting enough sleep, organizing your time, delegating tasks, and setting limits on your commitments)
  • Avoiding substances that can worsen anxiety (e.g. caffeine, alcohol)
  • Engaging in activities that promote positive thinking (e.g. journaling, reading)