Stroke and Stress

Signs of Stress

Stress can manifest many different ways in many different people.  Talk to your doctor about any signs of stress you may be experiencing.

  • Physical (headache, muscle tension, fatigue, insomnia, weight changes, appetite changes, digestive upsets, pounding heart, restlessness, increased use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco)
  • Mental (poor concentration, forgetfulness, negative attitude, negative “self-talk,” confusion, lethargy, racing or whirling mind, boredom, spacing out, low productivity)
  • Relational (isolation, intolerance, loneliness, lashing out, distrust, fewer interactions with friends & family, lack of intimacy)
  • Emotional (anxiety, depression, worrying, little joy, crying spells, frustration, mood swings, nightmares, irritability, hopelessness, helplessness)
  • Motivational/Spiritual (emptiness, loss of meaning, doubt, loss of direction, needing to “prove one’s self,” apathy) 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

One of the body’s reactions to fear and anxiety is muscle tension.  This can lead to muscle aches and pains, feeling “tense,” and a feeling of near constant exhaustion.  Progressive muscle relaxation can be particularly helpful in these cases. 

Unhelpful Thinking Styles

Many times, when someone experiences depression or anxiety, is it often preceded by a number of unhelpful “self-statements” and thoughts.  Often there is a pattern to these thoughts, and they become “unhelpful thinking styles.” Some people use these thinking styles consistently, some use only one every so often.