Listening to Warning Signs of Stress

One definition of stress is “a physical, mental or emotional factor causing bodily or mental tension”. These factors can arise together and cause issues with daily life. We may be experiencing wonderful moments and then, an unexpected event, thought or memory causes stress to enter our bodies.

From too many activities on our agenda to worries about health, finances, jobs, family, friendships and more, our thoughts can take the stress level from low to high.

What should we do to stay alert for signs of stress? Are there ways to handle stress? How can we pause and take care of our mental wellbeing when times seem to be busier than ever?

Warning signs of stress can be different for everyone. One of the first warning signs of stress for me is a pain in my neck. I notice a slight tensing of my neck muscles.

Another sign is a headache. Also, for me, a sign of stress in my body is a rapid pulse.

Since each one of us has unique personalities and bodies, we must be alert to our own warning signs of stress.

If I don’t recognize my signs and the stress level becomes too intense, I tend to go into a panic attack. Then, I have a whole different issue to address.

When alert to my signs of stress, I am able to pause, take deep breaths, enjoy a walk through the house or outside, and pray. Prayer is one of my favorite ways to handle stress.

I also enjoy sharing conversation with family and friends. Taking myself away from stressful thoughts, even for a few minutes, helps my body relax.

Have you thought about stress in your life? Do you have ways of coping? What are your warning signs and how do you recognize them? Share with us. Your ideas may help someone else.

Remember you are not alone. Other people are having stress. Sometimes chatting with someone can help.

Enjoy a stress-free day!



Melissa Henderson is a writer of inspirational messages through fiction, non-fiction, devotions, guest blogs, articles and more. Her first children’s book “Licky the Lizard: was released in 2018.

Melissa is an Elder, Deacon and Stephen Minister. Her passions are helping in community and church. She hopes her experiences with anxiety and depression can show others they are not alone.
Melissa and her husband Alan moved from Virginia to South Carolina in 2017 to be near son, daughter-in-love and first grandchild.
The family motto is “It’s Always A Story With The Henderson’s”.

You can follow Melissa on: FacebookTwitter, and her website.

21 thoughts on “Listening to Warning Signs of Stress

  1. Nicole,
    I’d once again like to start writing for Defying Shadows. Please ping me a theme and I’ll drop you a piece back
    Rob Peach

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Melissa, Like you, I am a pray-er when I start to feel stressed – which is usually evidenced by impatience with everyone. When I feel that way I have to separate myself for a few minutes and ask the Lord to show me what is causing it and to give me peace. He does it quickly most of the time.

  3. Stress is a killer today. And we can manage it, but we can’t eliminate it completely. Great message on how to get to know ourselves better so we can help ourselves deal with stress.

  4. Pain in my neck is also a warning sign for me. I appreciate the reminder to take note of when that happens and pay attention, rather than just stuff it and assume it will go away!

    1. Just this morning, I felt that twinge of pain in my neck. I realized I needed to pause and reflect, pray and breath. 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  5. Melissa, we all do have different ways we react and cope with stress. I tend to get overwhelmed which leads to anxiety and sometimes leads to a feeling of panic like you described. For me, stopping to pray, listen to worship music, or go outside if it’s pretty to walk or water flowers is soothing.

    1. Becoming overwhelmed can happen before we realize. Yes, praying, listening to worship music and taking a walk are great actions. Have a blessed day! 🙂

  6. Listening. Your first word is so important. The warning signs are always there, but often I don’t listen until they reach a crescendo…and by then it’s much more difficult to manage!

  7. Melissa, you’re right. We need to be able to recognize when stress is impacting us. For me, especially when the stress is prolonged, I stop breathing deeply. Sleep becomes an issue (as if it isn’t already!). And my patience with my family is almost non-existent. It’s not pretty. I’m learning to try to get to bed earlier. I also make sure I’m spending time in God’s word. And singing worship songs along with a radio or Spotify or something also helps me. I have to pray and I usually also ask God for a verse to help me through the season. And my thoughts go back to said verse often.

    1. Jeanne, all the things you mentioned are ones I have experienced. The breathing, sleep issues, patience, etc. I agree, sharing time in God’s word is key for me. Thank you for sharing. Have a blessed day! 🙂

  8. This is great! Headaches are definitely one of my stress signals. I appreciated the insight on learning to recognize my warning signs.

  9. Great article! I have dealt with stress all of my life and used to suffer from frequent panic attacks. Music has been one of the most effective tools for combatting stress, especially Andre Rieu’s Stradivarius violin. (My favorite is his rendition of the love theme from Romeo and Juliet.) I also memorized Psalm 91 and speak it over myself and my situation. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much Candice for sharing about Andre Rieu’s Stradivarius violin. I love music. Yes, I love reading the Psalms too. Have a blessed day!

  10. Thank you for this reminder to be aware of stress creeping in and then being mindful of responding before it grows bigger. Reading scripture aloud and praying are two of my best stress reducers. Have a peaceful day!

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