Stress, Stress and More Stress

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This article does exactly as the title suggests. Actually, it doesn’t ‘do’ what the title suggests but it does cover it instead. I wouldn’t want to provide anyone with any added stress, God only knows I don’t need anymore stress.

Now I know I’ve written about this topic before – but, never have I written about it in this context before and you’ll soon understand why.

PANIC ATTACK – TRIGGER WARNING!

Unfortunately writting this doesn’t come out of a positive experience, not that any kind of story linked to stress is a positive experience but never the less, this one is particularly negative for myself. Last Thursday night, I experienced my first Panic/Anxiety attack. How to describe? Awful. I was sitting in my room when all of the sudden I felt I weird ‘change’ in my chest however I didn’t think anything of it and just ignored it. A little while later, long story short, I ended up in A&E having various tests and ECG’s to find out what was wrong with me to find out… NOTHING. I’m 100% healthy – which is great news. However, it didn’t make me feel great knowing that everything I had experienced was basically in my head – according to the doctor. I had gone through an experience of basically feeling as though I was having a heartache – rapid/irregular heartbeat, shaking, feeling distant, heat and cold sweats etc but the entire thing was apparently in my head and caused my stress.

When it comes to suffering with stress, I’m no stronger to it. I’ve always suffered with stress but never to this extent so it knocked me back a little. Usually it’s just being ill for a little while or having sleepless nights etc but this time, it knocked me down and it’s taken nearly a week to recover from it. It hasn’t been fun – this panic attack left me on edge and feeling as though I was constantly panicking (again, not fun) but little did I understand how thin I was spreading myself and how much strain I was putting on myself.

A huge problem with me is that whenever there is something wrong with me I begin to Google it – whatever my symptoms, I Google them and never stop and then soon convince myself that I am dying – however, what stress can affect is crazy.

  • Cognitive Symptoms

Memory problems, inability to concentrate, poor judgement, seeing only the negative, anxious or racing thoughts and constant worry.

  • Emotional Symptoms

Moodiness, irritability or short temper, agitation or inability to relax, feeling overwhelmed, sense of loneliness and isolation and depression or general unhappiness.

  • Physical Symptoms

Aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation, nausea and dizziness, chest pain or rapid heartbeat, loss of sex drive and frequent colds.

  • Behavioural Symptoms

Eating more or less, sleeping too much or too little, isolating yourself from others, procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities, using alcohol etc and nervous habits.

Information found here.

Therefore, as you can see, there is various amounts of effects that stress can have on the body. It’s funny to think that stress is literally a build up of various emotions that can inflict this onto you – what a crappy feeling.

However, after a build up of these symptoms but never really thinking anything of them, it resulted in the Panic Attack and A&E – fun, fun, fun.

After talking with the nurses and doctor we’d come to a conclusion that all my stress had built up from university work and pressure, financial pressure, work pressure and more – unfortunately building up to what it did. Therefore, at the minute, I am tackling one thing at a time and trying to combat it to ensure it doesn’t happen again any time soon.

How am I handling it? Well, like I said I am trying to tackle one thing at a time. So, my career is on it’s way to being improved, I’ve nearly finished second year at university and so on and so fourth. I’ve also started using apps called ‘Pacifica’ and ‘Headspace’ – apps that help you with breaking, meditation and much more – perfect to put on when I get into bed at the end of the day. Also, I have a lot of friends and family that I am able to turn to that have been through similar experiences – therefore, I’ve been able to get a lot off of my chest which has helped.

The best way to make anyone understand what I’m feeling at this moment and time is this. A little while ago, my little Peugeot ‘Penny’ broke down (not for the first time) and once she did, it made me nervous to drive her. When driving, I became extremely aware of every sound and movement the car made and it made driving her horrible because I felt as though I didn’t trust my car and that’s how it is with me, since my panic attack, I am a lot more aware of my body and all the sounds and movements it makes – it’s like I don’t trust my body and it’s as though I’m trying to rebuild that trust from scratch.

So all in all, it hasn’t been the best experience ever and it’s all been down to stress. Stress, stress and more stress. So, my advice to you? If you can at all help it, don’t get to the point I did. Sometimes, it’s uncontrollable and you may not even know you are stressed – panic attacks can hit at moments when you don’t even feel stressed but it’s not the point. Always ensure you are taking regular breaks and giving time for yourself to just unwind – no matter how busy you are, always find time for that time. It’s essential. Attempt to eat and drink healthy, get excerise, socialise and what not and just be good to you. Don’t stress yourself into a corner with no way out – it isn’t worth it. Especially not this crap feeling afterwards – you can beat it and you can tackle it before it even begins!

Look after your body and it’ll look after you. Don’t overthink and cause yourself stress – it’ll all be okay, even if you take that half an hour break.

Take care students!

Good luck for your last few weeks!

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