Spotting stress in others

Sometimes it is easier to see stress in others than it is to see it in yourself. You can look out for these signs and symptoms in others – but don’t be surprised if others see them in you too!

People who are stressed:

  • Disregard or minimise safety issues and put themselves or others at risk.
  • May have mood changes, seem depressed or experience/exhibit symptoms of anxiety.
  • Lose confidence, talk about sleeping badly, have slow reactions or behave oddly.
  • Are less able to get along with people that they used to work well with.
  • Develop long–term health problems such as physical or psychiatric disease.
  • Become irritable and indecisive, or perform poorly and make more mistakes.
  • Drink more alcohol/coffee/stimulants than usual or use recreational drugs.
  • Complain about their health and, for example, get frequent headaches and stomach upsets.

If you see these in yourself or others, find a way to approach that person non-confrontationally and discuss what you see them doing or how they are behaving. Sometimes we just need a mirror held up for us, to be able to start tackling the issues.