From a long list of stressful jobs out there, perhaps the job of a talent agent is the most challenging one. How can we tell? Two words: Ari Gold.
A fictional character in the TV series Entourage, Gold is loud, jumpy and always distressed. He takes prescribed pills to calm his nerves that threaten to jump out of his wits every time there is a hiccup. When your job is to make celebrities rich and happy, perhaps you have to leave your peace behind. Like Gold, who, from the inside is a good man and a friend, but from the outside, he is a personification of stress. Credit to the writers, the audience loves seeing him losing his temper.
Unlike fiction, however, there is no script in real life to make a gloomy subject like stress a laughter riot. Stress is scary and harmful. It works slowly and mysteriously, targeting your mind and snatching away your inner peace. Everything stress touches becomes grey. What makes it worse is that it can’t be seen or measured, but only be felt. It wears a cloak of invisibility and breeds depression, illnesses, aging—making the wrinkles of concern deeper every day.
To defeat stress, you need to recognise the emotional signs that it leaves behind like evidence in a crime scene. These emotional signs could be behavioural patterns, changes in habits, or displays of abnormal attitudes towards others. Often, we mistake such symptoms of stress for a bad mood or a bad day. If you continue to overlook stress, it could shapeshift into a more serious issue. To add some perspective, research by Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that one in five students in colleges considers suicide due to excessive stress.
In this feature, Soulveda shares a list of emotional signs of stress that need to be addressed to live a stress-free, peaceful life.
Emotional eating under stressful situations
For many, stress is a gateway for a food feast—they gorge on ice-creams, a bag of chips, or a pizza, despite a full stomach. Emotional eating under stressful situations is common. The release of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, in your body makes you crave more carbohydrates and sugars, giving a false sense of relief. Studies suggest emotional stress eaters tend to maintain high levels of Ghrelin than regular eaters. However, once the phase passes, you’re left feeling guilty. Ultimately, doing more harm than good.
Be mindful of what you’re eating. Try maintaining a food journal, or simply pause and question your hunger pang. If your stomach is full, wait for the stress cravings to pass.
Frustration and anger get the best of you
Constantly thinking about your stressors and dwelling on them can be mentally exhausting. When you cannot put a finger on the reason behind your frustration it can make you feel even worse—causing you to lose your cool too often and mostly unnecessarily.
An easy way to deal with stress-related anger is to narrow down the reason first. Analyse your anger and where it stems from, then make a conscious effort to distract yourself. Try focused breathing exercises or just listen to some relaxing music to calm your nerves.