You’ve got a tension headache. Your heart’s pounding. It’s difficult to concentrate and there’s a sense of lurking dread at the back of your mind.
But what’s causing it? If you’re finding it hard to pin down a cause for your stress, this checklist might help you figure it out – then move on to finding a solution.
Too many things grabbing at your time, splitting your focus and forcing you to race against time or let someone down.
Your partner keeps texting about personal problems, you don’t know what to do with your life and Mum’s in hospital again. It’s making it difficult to feel like the work in front of you is very important.
Competition for marks
You’d be okay if you could move along at your own pace, but this competitive environment is no good for the acid in your belly. You’re doing your best, but it never seems to be good enough.
You’re always fighting, or you’ve just been through a big break-up and can’t focus on anything else with this broken heart. And/or the constant messages from your ex.
Someone is picking on you, or you feel like they’re going to. Whether its emotional or physical, it’s affecting your ability to concentrate on getting things done and living your life.
You’ve been given an important assignment, but not instructions on how to do it. Will you look like an idiot if you ask questions? Everyone else seems to know what they’re doing.
Too many changes
There’s been so much upheaval that every day seems random. People are being moved like chess pieces and you’re not sure where you’re meant to be at any given moment.
Your whole life is work and study. When was the last time you did something fun – or even stayed up all night without having to worry about being exhausted the next day?
You can’t make decisions
There are too many options, and picking one means the other ones will be closed off to you. What if you choose the wrong thing and it ruins your whole life?
(Too) high standards
Maybe it’s coming from a parent or teacher, or maybe it’s coming from inside you. Either way, there’s an impossible bar for you to clear – when 99 per cent isn’t good enough, it’s very difficult to be calm.