Manage your stress – recognise early warnings signs

Recognise Your Early Warning Signs (EWS)

For most people stress builds up gradually over time. Your ability to cope with situations feels like it is getting less and less. Being able to spot the very early warning signs that you are getting stressed means that you can do something to try and stop it getting worse.

As with the triggers, these are very individual and likely to be different for everyone.


Early Warning Signs (EWS) for stress might include:

  • Being more irritable than usual
  • Trouble getting off to sleep
  • Not being able to concentrate
  • Changes in your appetite
  • Not going out to social events as much

What are your Early Warning Signs of stress?

Sometimes, it is the people around us who pick up our stress before we are even aware of it. Therefore, it can be very useful to involve someone close to you in this exercise. It needs to be someone who knows you very well. If you have someone willing to do this, ask them the following questions…

  • How do you know when I am getting stressed?
  • What do you notice?
  • How am I different?




The signs that tell me that I am stressed are:

  • We argue more
  • Waking up an hour before my alarm
  • Worrying that I somehow caused these mental health problems
  • Avoiding seeing my friends

My wife said that she notices that:

  • I skip my lunch
  • I miss my evening classes repeatedly