Adrenaline on the other hand is more orientated toward preparing the body for a quick getaway. Heart action increases and can be felt as a pounding in the chest. This is sometimes erratic and described as heart palpitations. Blood supply to the vital organs and skeletal muscles increases so it is necessary for noradrenaline to reduce the supply to the non-vital organs such as the gut and skin. This, together with a reduction in activity of the gut, gives the feeling of butterflies’ and knots in the stomach. A cold sweat’ is experienced when sweat is secreted onto the surface of a cold skin. Feelings of uncertainty, worry, insecurity and anxiety are examples of the results of adrenaline activity.
Outward physical signs that cortisol is at work are difficult to see although frequent colds, allergies or asthma could be indicators. However, the mental signs are clear enough; feelings of failure, helplessness, hopelessness, chronic anxiety, depression.
Recognising stress in others as well as yourself
The main purpose of this blog is to help you learn to recognize and manage stress in yourself. But it is also important that you can identify the signs of stress in others; your family, friends and work colleagues.
Being alert to the signs of distress in others will help you to reduce relationship problems and maintain a creative and productive office and organization. At work it would be foolish to pile more tasks onto your colleague who is rushing around trying to do too many things at once and becoming impatient, easily irritated at trivial things and snappy with workmates. Or to ignore an overloaded colleague who has problems at home and perhaps withdraws, becomes uncharacteristically quiet and looks depressed. Watch out also for the colleague who becomes frustrated and bored because there is too little to do and who feels their abilities and talents are not being adequately used.