When you are feeling stressed out and under pressure, the best thing to do is talk about it!
I’m going to share some common English idioms and phrases to help you talk about stress.
- Stressed (adj)
We can look stressed.
We can feel stressed.
We can be stressed.
- (something) stresses (one) out
What’s stressing you out? We use this phrase in the past and in the present to talk about what’s causing stress and what may create stress.
Traffic always stresses me out.
Yesterday, being in a big crowd stressed me out.
You’re stressing me out!
I don’t want to do it because I know it will stress me out.
- A lot on (one’s) mind
When you’re worried about lots of things and thinking about them all the time, you may find it’s really distracting. You can’t focus and you’re really mentally tired. That is when you have a lot on your mind.
Don’t take what she said personally. She’s got so much on her mind at the moment. I’m sure she’s just really stressed out.
- (to be) burnt out/ burnout
When you’re really tired and you’re stressed because you’ve been working hard for too long and don’t have any energy left to do anything else, that’s when you’re burnt out.
By the end of the final exams, the students were completely burnt out.
And you also hear the noun ‘burnout’ used for that complete exhaustion.
- (to) burn the candle at both ends
What happens when you burn a candle at both ends? Very quickly, there won’t be any candle left!
When you work very hard and lose energy and enthusiasm to get tasks done and you know that you can’t continue to work at this rate for much longer, you’re burning the candle at both ends.
- (to be) at breaking point
It’s that moment when the build-up of stress is so big inside of you that you break. Which might end up in a whole lot of tears.
I almost reached breaking point with this dissertation.
- (to) snap
This is a verb, used to describe a reaction to being stressed or under pressure. It can result in feeling annoyed, frustrated and angry. We usually yell at someone without warning. You might respond later by saying;
I’m sorry I snapped at you. I’ve just had a really long day.
- (to) bite (someone’s) head off
Sounds dangerous, but don’t worry it’s just an expression! Someone might be annoyed or frustrated at another person who was probably innocent and yells at them.
My boss bit my head off when I tried to ask for an extension! It was a bit unreasonable.
Do you have similar phrases in your language?
There are more expressions and phrases which we can use to describe feeling stressed. Try to find out some more examples and make note of them.