While some stress at work is normal, too much stress can interfere or hinder your productivity and negatively affect your physical and mental health. Therefore, your ability to manage stress at work can mean the difference between career success or failure.

To deal with stress, you must first recognise the symptoms and learn how to manage them well. Here are the 8 symptoms of stress and how you can manage them effectively:

1. Headaches

You can be experiencing headaches at an increasing frequency. If you feel a tight band of pain around your head especially near the eyes or the temples, you are having a tension headache. This means you are required to take your eyes off your computer screen and get a power nap at once. Massaging your eyes help to relax your eye muscles and improve your concentration when you get back to work.

2. Muscle Tension

To deal with muscle tension, you need to take short break and relax yourself. Try walking about or do some non-strenuous exercises to relieve the tension within or around your body. Try meditating or hitting the gym if you like. The main objective is to relax.

3. Palpitations

If you are experiencing palpitations because you had too much coffee, then perhaps it is time you reduce your caffeine in-take. Avoid stimulants that increases the rate of your heartbeat to prevent further irritation caused by palpitations. However, if your condition worsens, put aside all your work and consult a doctor at once.

4. Fatigue & Frustrations

There are many causes to fatigue apart from stress. Yet, prevention is not an issue if fatigue is recognised and treated early. Many times, fatigue can lead to frustrations or irritability, which can negatively impact social relations. Do seek medical care or counselling where necessary.

5. Mood Swings

Usually, others would be the first to notice your mood swings, simply because mood swings are very obvious and it shows in your daily interaction with others. When you become aware about your mood swings, do take enough rest and get enough sleep. Avoid taking too much substances or food that affect your mood such as sugar, chocolates, coffee, alcohol, or even illicit drugs. Keep a balanced diet, drink sufficient water, and exercise.

6. Excessive Worries & Nervousness

There are many instances in life whereby we need to let go. We need to know what to let go. In doing so, it is important for you to understand that sometimes our circumstances and other people’s decisions are beyond our control. Stop worrying about what we cannot control, but focus on those that we can. In this way, you will worry less and lead a happier life, at least free from excessive anxieties.

7. Sadness

It is normal to feel sad when things do not turn out the way we expected in life. However, when taken to extremes, sadness can grow into depression if you do not manage it well in time. During this period of sadness, it is crucial for you to seek out those whom you trust and talk to them. If you feel that you have been very sad for up to a period of two weeks or more, do seek medical care immediately.

8. Withdrawn from activities and social gatherings

You may find that you are withdrawing yourself from social gatherings or become more reserved than you initially were. You probably need some time to yourself and this sort of privacy ought to be respected. However, you can avoid damaging the rapport you built with others around you simply by expressing your feelings of disappointment and your desire to be temporarily left alone. All the same, do not isolate yourself because that will make you even more vulnerable to stress, and possibly, other mental disorders.

Managing stress is important especially if you want to do well in life. However, if you find yourself unable to cope well or having extreme thoughts of harming yourself or others, please seek professional help.