8 Signs You Need Serious Stress Relief

June 20, 2013

need stress relief

Everyone feels they need a little stress relief now and then. But sometimes the signs of stress are more serious and can ultimately lead to a cycle of self-sabatoge where your workload grows too heavy to bear, you get mired in the little stuff, and lose sight of the big stuff. When should you take your need for stress relief more seriously?

According to Nicole Lipkin, author of  What Keeps Leaders Up at Night  (Amacom Books), here are 8 signs of stress and that you need to pay more attention.

8 Signs You Are Stressed Out
  1.  Lose your temper more quickly
  2.  Regularly seem more anxious
  3.  Get more impatient than usual
  4.  See and solve new problems more slowly
  5.  Lose your focus more frequently
  6.  Suffer more memory lapses
  7.  Perform meaningless tasks repeatedly
  8.  Find yourself preoccupied with making “to do” lists

These symptoms signal that you are forcing your brain to operate in too many places at once, and you will almost surely find your productivity slipping. If you find yourself needing stress relief often, you need to re-evaluate how manage stress and find ways to cope with stress productively. If you find you don’t have time for immediate stress relief right now, consider some tips on how to get things done on time and under pressure from Sharon Melnick, author of Success Under Stress.

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Stressed out from work? Take a break and learn to become a more efficient worker with these AMA resources and seminars.

About The Author

Christina Parisi is Director of Digital Content at the American Management Association. Previously she was an Executive Editor at AMACOM Books and the Director of AMA Self-Studies.


  1. avatar

    I am under tremendous stress caring for my mother, and I really need more than a flippant answer like “quit your job” or “take time for yourself” from someone who obviously never had to care for a demented parent, or duck when Mom throws a coffee mug at you.

  2. avatar

    I’m here with a very stressful job, a 10 year old who is disable and a 2 year old , I have a 14 year old too just writing this is taking a toll on me. I feel everyday I’m hanging on to a limb getting ready to fall. I worry about my health all the time. I worry about my kids also. I worry about my finance. I worry about my life. As I type this I feel the tension in my neck getting tighter and tighter
    As I talk about it my anxiety get worse

  3. avatar

    If your life is that stressful, take time for yourself. Take a yoga or meditation class. And most importantly, quit an overly stressful job. Take a risk!

  4. avatar

    As I read the comments I see so much going on in peoples lives, not only the “typical” but also the “recouping” that is happening AFTER the great recession.

    It is so important to realize that back in 2008-09 there was so much downsizing, moving, closing, etc. Now, the opposite is true – moving, changing jobs, again, again, again.

    We need to hang in there, and realize that change is good, but needs to be controlled and managed. It IS a stressful time, but we need to still look for answers. The end result will be a home, easy commute, (ok) or nice job, etc.

    This is what happened in the 1930’s after black friday, and only WWII brought the USA out of it. We need to see the answers for the “Great Recession” and work towards them…..

  5. avatar

    I’m really sorry to hear that. Talking it out often helps, whether it’s with family and friends, through a support group, or through talk therapy. There are online chat groups as well. If you have trouble finding one, sometimes your doctor, clergy person, local library, or insurance company can help.

  6. avatar

    My stress level is very high and I exhibit several of the symptoms in this article. Between work, family and financial stresses, sometimes it feels like I am barely hanging on….to my health and my sanity.

    A support group of some kind would be great, because I feel that I have no one who I can talk to, no one who I believe would truly understand or care about what I am going through. I try to maintain perspective, but that doesn’t always work.

  7. avatar

    My stress level is crazy… and I finally have to admit it. In the past 6 years I have lost 3 jobs due to company downsizing and economic collapse. My wife and I have had 3 kids, and one passed away. We have moved twice… our house was hit with severe storms needing a lot of work to repair them. I am on the school board, I work for my church, my wife runs a daycare out of our home… both of our cars are in need of serious care… and the list continues… I know stress lessens over time… I could just use a break SOON!

  8. avatar

    My job is horribly stressful. My bosses make things up and then SCREAM AND YELL at you for no reason. I didn’t eat for 4 days straight last week, (That is the number one symptom of stress by the way). We all come to work wondering who is going to get yelled at next. It’s a web design company. I will take the first job that comes along.

  9. avatar

    Yes. I finally have to admitt . The above questions were answered yes. This is a hard one
    To admitt as I feel guilty because a stay at home more should not be overwhelmed. So they
    Tell me. I do not stop all day kids in travel hockey long school commute try to cook everyday
    Good food for the kids on the run. There is not an avaliable night for me to take off with my
    Husbands schedul actually anytime because I will come home to many hors of cleaning. .
    please add me to your
    newsletter I too have became a short tempered
    Mum. Everything I’m trying to be and do , useless without the kids mom they way she use to be.

  10. avatar

    Im going insane with stress. My kids are renting my house and fighting constantly, my husband is having a mid life crisis and I am the cause or so I am told. My grandchild lives in a terribly unsafe neighborhood and I worry constantly. My job is extrememly stressfull and I cant do anything about it. I have everyone of those symptoms and more!! Im thinking about taking pills but don’t want to rely on medication to be happy. So far gone….

  11. avatar

    I can so relate. I think you would enjoy being a part of my challenge group starting march 3! That stress will go away along with anxiety.

  12. avatar

    Dear J,
    I’m really sorry to hear that. I have heard from a number of people who are under similar strain. I would recommend talking to your doctor about your symptoms and asking if he has any advice. I’m not qualified to offer medical or legal advice. It sounds like a lot of your stress is work-related. What is your boss like? Can you speak to him about your workload? Perhaps prioritize what is on your plate? Or are you able to delegate some work out to another employee or to a freelancer? When was the last time you had a vacation?
    I have a suggestion from another reader who asked to be anonymous: she suggested the book “Revive” by Frank Lipman. I don’t know if that is helpful or not as I have not read it, but I pass it on in case it is. Readers, any other suggestions for J?

  13. avatar

    I find myself under an enormous amount of stress lately. I have been assigned more and more responsibility with my job and I have yet to receive any increase in my sallary. I read your article and I do all of the things you have listed. I lose my temper easily, I am stressed over the little things, it takes much longer for me to solve problems, I have frequent Anxiety attacks. I have had my doctor up the dose of the anxiety medication and nothing seems to be helping.
    2014 has been an extremely difficult year so far. Any ideas on how to cope? I am very stressed and feel like I am no longer the same person that I used to be. Can you help?

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