A good trick is to listen to our bodies. Stress hormones circulate in the bloodstream and reach many areas of our body. In a stressful situation, we will experience several physiological symptoms: racing heart, rapid breathing, sweating, restlessness or stomach aches (diarrhea, constipation, urgent need to urinate, heartburn). Gastrointestinal symptoms are common and frequently caused by stress.
Stress hormones also affect our brain, which regulates our emotions and helps us concentrate. In a stressful situation, the brain can send us several signals: insomnia, concentration problems, spontaneous anger, impatience, irritability, overwhelming sadness or difficulty controlling an unpleasant emotion.
When any of these symptoms occur, it is time to ask yourself, “Is there something different about my day-to-day life right now?” Holidays, for example! Or, “Have there been any changes in the situation of the person I am caring for or in my own life?”
In fact, what triggers stress (except in the case of major stressors such as an earthquake) are situations that contain one or more of the following characteristics: novelty, unpredictability, threat to ego, and sense of low control. These stress ingredients can be classified under the acronym N.U.T.S.