There are lots of things to do in a day, and never enough time. When we have more to do than we can handle, we feel overwhelmed – physically, mentally as well as emotionally stressed.
There is no particular benchmark for exactly when and how much a person is stressed. Sometimes, it just might be exhaustion, and some rest and a break is all you might need to get back on track.
A bit of stress is actually good, as most of us are able to put in our best when we feel motivated due to stress. However, being highly stressed out over long periods of time affects us negatively.
Look at the following questions to evaluate your stress levels. . These, however, are not a substitute for a trained psychiatrist, whom you might need to visit in such a case.
1. Are you less interested in your work, relationships and physical wellbeing than you used to be?
2. Do you feel detached from your surroundings, not interested in the happenings around you?
3. Do you feel constantly irritated and less patient with your spouse, children or people in general?
4. Do you increasingly feel reluctant to get back to your duties after a break, wish to shirk responsibilities as you feel you are lagging behind and can never be up to the mark?
5. Do you feel trapped by circumstances, as if you have no control over what is happening in your life?
6. When friends and family try to help you with suggestions, do you turn negative, give excuses, and create a general aura that you have tried everything but nothing helps you?
7. Do you dislike being at gatherings?
8. Are you losing your sense of humour, are no longer able to laugh at things you used to find funny earlier?
9. Do you feel fatigued most of the time but still have trouble going to sleep?
10. Do you feel sick and nauseous even when you are not particularly ill?
11. Do you feel constantly hungry, or not hungry at all – have your eating habits become irregular?
12. Have you begun relying on others for the little decisions you used to make yourself, as you don’t feel confident enough?
13. Do you take on a lot of tasks, but are unable to finish any of it as you lose focus easily?
14. Do you smoke regularly, and consume 5 or more drinks of alcohol a week?
15. Have you almost stopped going out to just have fun?
16. Do you feel unduly hyper and irritated when you have to wait for your turn, or are stuck in traffic?
If your answer to most of these questions is yes, you are definitely stressed out. A balanced diet, exercising at least 4 times a week, limiting caffeine intake, and spending quality time with friends and family can help you lower your stress levels and maintain calm to a great extent.