Can you recognize the signs of stress and do you know how to manage it? Managing stress is part of maintaining good mental health.
You can learn more about why mental health is important and how to maintain it by attending Dallas ISD’s Mental Health Matters Virtual Symposium on Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event, hosted by Mental Health Services will feature recorded presentations and a live Q&A. There will be English and Spanish presentations on topics such as parenting, bullying, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and more. For more information or to register, please visit www.mentalhealthmattersdallas.com.
Until then, if you are having stress or other mental health issues, Lifeworks, the district’s employee assistance program can help.
The first step in managing stress is to become aware of the early warning signs so you address the sources of stress in your life and treat stress with proven techniques. Once you learn to recognize your own reactions to stress, you can begin to treat it effectively. Some signs and symptoms you might notice include:
- difficulty sleeping
- working to exhaustion
- being irritable
- loss of appetite for food, fun or sex
- stomach pain or upset stomach
- neck or back pain
- smoking or drinking more
- loss of sense of humor
- trembling, nervous tics
- chest pain
- heart palpitations or shortness of breath
- excessive perspiration
- eating too much or too little
- dry mouth
- feeling tired/lack of energy
- obsessive behavior
- loss of interest in other people
- a feeling that everything is pointless
- inability to focus and concentrate
- high levels of anxiety and worry
If you are experiencing five or more from the above list, you may be suffering from stress and should consider ways to manage it more effectively. Each of us responds to stress differently. Chronic stress contributes to heart disease and heart attacks. It also suppresses our immune system leaving us more vulnerable to disease.