Stress is completely normal. It enables us to get the most out of ourselves !  When you're able to balance moments of stress with relaxing moments, you'll be able to function optimally. Stress causes an increase in blood pressure and makes the heart rate rise. On the other hand, the body will recover completely in relaxing moments. When you're under stress for too long, the body will show subtle symptoms. These symtoms are limited to a light headache, mood swings,  a rushed feeling and once and a while a bad night sleep. For most of us, it's almost impossible to not end up in such a phase. When you foresee enough moments to recover regularly and completely, you won't be stressed out or end up in a Burn Out.


When stress gets the upper hand and you're not able to relax, then you're suffering from chronical stress. The moments where you can relax are rare and are to short to be able to recover completely. After a holiday you're feeling completely fit, but this only lasts a couple of days. Because the body is strong and the physical complaints are small, you will be able to continue to function more or less normally. You're probably not even aware that there's a problem and you have the feeling that you're still functioning optimally. This phase can last from a couple of months to a couple of years without being overwrought. The length of this period will depend from your physical and mental reserves.


FIT4LIFE - Prevention Programme
- 6 individual sessions (1 per week)
- A mix of theory and practical exercices
- Goal: development of stress management skills


If you're already passed the phase of chronical stress, then chances are great that you are overwrought. You feel that your body is running out of energy. The high levels of cortisol are starting to take their toll. The limits of what you can do on day-to-day basis are decreasing and you're having trouble to execute all your tasks and activities to the satisfaction that you would like. The number of physical complaints is increasing and from now on, all kinds of symptoms could begin to surface:


Physichological symptoms:

  • Concentration problems
  • Complaints about anxiety and panic
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Melancholy / dejection
  • Rushed feeling
  • Don't feel like doing anything
  • Tendency to addiction
  • Confusion
  • Sensitive to simuli
  • Worry a lot

Physical symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Muscle pain (tingling)
  • Pain in the neck or shoulders
  • Tension in the belly/stomach
  • Rapid breathing
  • Headache
  • Limited sight
  • Tinnitus (ringing in your ears)
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Fast heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Feeling cold


This is an important moment because the time to ask is now! This is the moment where you're realising that stress is wrecking your body. You have to start to work on yourself immediately in order to prevent a lot of misery and possibly even a burn-out. This could mean temporarily working less of finding another way to decrease the level of stress. Structural changes will be necessary to reduce the amount of stress you have to deal with on a daily basis. It's important to understand that this is something that you cannot do alone because a fundamental change in thinking will be needed. If you would be able to do this on you own, then wouldn't have ended in this situation to begin with. Bear in mind that the overload of stress has been going on for months or even years by now. The difference with a burn-out is that in this phase, with the right amount of rest and relaxation, recovery will still be rather quick.


However, most people do not intervene now and expect that it'll pass. We'll even look for physical causes that explain the complaints and stress doesn't usualy pop up as a possible cause. A lot of people end up in a vicious circle because of these complaints. Searches on the internet and visits to the doctor or the hospital make you insecure, anxious and cause even more stress. However, when you're overwrought it is possible to recover quickly by taking to correct actions. See this is last warning from your body before you get into a real burn-out.

FIT4LIFE - Recovery Programme
- 10 individual sessions (spread over 6 months)
- Mix between theory and practical exercises
- Objectives: gain insight in your own (dys)functioning, learning skills on managing stress and learning relaxation techniques


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