What are the signs of stress overload?

Stress is a normal and important part of life – it helps you to get motivated and to kick goals. But stress can also work against you if it starts spiralling out of control. Check out this video to help you recognise the signs that you might not be coping with stress.

Read the transcript.

Left unchecked, too much stress can lead to even bigger problems.

Stress can be a really good thing in some situations, giving you that boost of energy that gets you through a job interview or the final minutes of a sports match, but it’s important to recognise when it’s getting a bit too much. Here are some signs that you might not be coping well with stress or are experiencing stress overload. You might:

  • have difficulty relaxing

  • have trouble sleeping

  • not look your best, or be taking less care with your appearance

  • feel like you’re under constant pressure

  • feel overwhelmed or like you’re losing control

  • feel nervous, shaky or anxious

  • feel nauseous or have an upset stomach

  • feel down or depressed

  • have negative or pessimistic thoughts

  • have mood swings or be easily irritated

  • feel sick more often than is normal

  • have a lower-than-usual sex drive

  • be more forgetful or distracted than usual

  • be withdrawing from family and friends

  • be avoiding your responsibilities and things you should be doing

  • have some nervous habits, such as nail biting, pacing or fidgeting.

If you’ve identified that you’re under a lot of stress and aren’t coping well, it’s important to realise that there are things you can do to better manage stress.

What can I do now?

  • Learn more about stress and what you can do to manage it.

  • Practising mindfulness is a great way to deal with stress. Find out some different ways you can build mindfulness here.

  • Find out what stress does to your body, and what you can do about it.


Challenges and coping