6 ways to recognize your limits and signs of distress

Signs of emotional discomfort are often dismissed, leading to lasting psychological suffering. Click To Tweet

Tasks and obligations seem never-ending, whereas the time for rest is always so short. Showing tiredness, postponing breaks, and avoiding to recognise that you’re reaching your limit. Emotional wellbeing must be tended to and frequently stimulated. A good way to maintain and protect is to be alert to the signs of emotional distress.

Emotional wellnes vs emotional distress

Emotional wellness is correlated to the presence of positive feelings benefiting your well-being. When negative feelings are consistently prevailing, that sides with your well-being in emotional distress. Here are some examples:

Examples of positive feelings: are satisfaction, enthusiasm, optimism, joy, relief, serenity, tranquillity, attraction, acknowledgement and appreciation.

Examples of negative feelings: are boredom, frustration, guilt, sadness, insecurity, loneliness, anxiety, anguish, despair, stress, distrust and rage. 

Emotional distress is multifaceted and can occur when you experience an unpleasant emotion that interferes with your day. However, how you handle this distress can be the key to reducing the feeling of becoming all-consuming. Other terms frequently used to describe the same experience include suffering, stress, anguish, or psychological distress. 

Emotional distress can vary in intensity. And be triggered by differing aspects such as sadness, vulnerability, fear, insecurity, confusion, and worry from short term impacts you experience in daily life. However, severe issues can be correlated to emotional distress such as anxiety, depression, rage, social isolation, and hopelessness, which usually have a longer-lasting feeling.  

Looking for specialised help when you face prominent signs of distress is essential and an act of courage and self-love. Learn to determine when something is not right regarding your mental health. Click To Tweet


Ways to recognise your limits and signs of distress

Everyone enjoys being happy, often seeking out comfort and satisfaction from activities or events that will release endorphins and make you feel good. However, these feelings aren’t necessarily constant, often making the highs in life feel fantastic, and the lows feel terrible. This is a common feeling; however, the sharpness of the spikes of emotion is vital in recognising if there is a potential issue. 

  1. Social isolation: Closing yourself off from the world is a crucial sign alerting to the potential for mental and emotional health issues.
  2. Atypical mood states: Abrupt and significant adverse changes in mood should be a cause for alarm, especially if a persistent occurrence. Also, behavioural changes must be observed —for instance, personality changes to the point where it feels like a different person. Often more eradicate choices that aren’t consistent with the familiarity of a person.
  3. Lack of self-care: One of the clear indicators of distress is the loss of care for your health and well-being. However, this self-neglect can appear through multiple mediums, with some behaviour bearing more severe consequences, such as the involvement in substances (for example, alcohol and drug intake).
  4. Apathy: Other signs of distress you should be mindful of are excessive apathy, which means a lack of interest, potentially feeling of disconnection from the people in your life, surroundings and daily tasks. Often with heightened anxiety and sadness towards areas that previously could have brought joy.
  5. Changes in the sleeping pattern: Sleeping is a key indicator when sleeping patterns are erratic, with little to no sleep or extreme oversleeping. Inconsistent patterns display deteriorating mental health and emotional states. It’s equally important to pay attention to the appetite level and physical health, both affected by lessening psychological health.
  6. Difficulties with establishing/keeping relationships: Personal and professional relationships may be damaged when going through a period of greater emotional distress. During these periods, it’s expected that the moods and isolation can become all-consuming and strain social interactions. When you feel emotional distress, it can be harder to maintain relationships due to your state of mind and the negative ways it influences how you interact with someone, often being reserved and cold.

Seek help from your friends, family and mental health professionals

Although you might be experiencing emotional distress, it’s important to not isolate yourself from those that care for you. It can often be a source of comfort that can be utilised to ease the stress and pressure you carry. So make sure to reach out to people, and talk about your feelings. And if you know someone with the aforementioned signs, make sure to contact and be a present friend. 

In these circumstances, it’s important to understand that no one is alone and that friends and family may bring comfort but can’t help the problem at hand, which is common and where you should contact mental health professionals.

Investing in and taking care of your mental health should be a priority, as it’s fundamental to how you live. 

6 ways to recognize your limits and signs of distress

What does the world health organization say

As per the World Health Organization’s definition, good mental health comprehends overall wellness, where you understand the extent of your abilities, where you can cope appropriately with the usual hassles of life while working productively and is capable of contributing to your community. 

Particular ways to promote mental health from WHO’s programmes include:

  • Interventions in childhood’s early years (e.g. enabling stability in the surrounding environment sensitive to a child’s needs regarding health and nutrition, safeguarding from threats, opportunities for early learning, promoting responsive interactions, emotional support and stimulating their development).
  • Empowering women socially and economically ensuring access to education and microcredit programmes.
  • Social support for elderly through social initiatives, community and day centres for the aged.
  • Programmes targeted at vulnerable people, which include minorities, migrants, and people affected by conflicts and disasters.
  • Activities promoting mental health in schools.
  • Work-oriented mental health interventions.
  • Housing improvement.
  • Community programmes such as integrated rural development.
  • Reduction in poverty and social protection for the poor.
  • Campaigns and laws for anti-discrimination.
  • Promotion of the rights, opportunities and care of individuals with mental disorders.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: If demands are placed on a person unable to deal with them due to overbearing resources and coping mechanisms, it can impact their mental health. Working long hours, being a caregiver for a relative, and going through economic hardship are examples of those who may be prone to poor mental health.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that there’s a liability regarding mental health, as there isn’t a guarantee of it not changing over time, whether it be for the better or worse. Still, there are things you can do to minimise the fallout of the lows that everyone is likely to experience at certain points in life


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