Signs Of Stress: 10 Sure-Fire Symptoms You Are Stressed
Let’s face it – stress is a part of life. Signs of stress can surface in lots of different ways which this post examines. Stress is a biological response to demanding situations that cause the body to release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones prepare the body to weather these changes by increasing heart rate and respiration. 2 – Flooding muscles with extra glucose for whatever is coming your way. 3 – Forcing the brain to begin sending neurological responses that will issue commands to all other systems in your body that need to take action.
While stress has a place in governing aspects of our physiology, its harmful effects wreak havoc on our bodies, our minds, and our emotions. Unsure as to whether you have been experiencing stress in your life? Here are some sure-fire ways to tell if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately:
Sign #1: Acne and skin rashes
Your skin doesn’t hide much; the march of time, a bad reaction to some Thai peanut sauce, and the effects of stress are all visible on your skin, and one of the premier ways your skin will manifest stress is through the formation of acne. Hormonal shifts, excess touching of the face during stressful situations, and bacteria all contribute to the formation of these unsightly bumps. Do what you can to cleanse your skin regularly, and refrain from touching your face to avoid inconvenient breakouts.
Sign #2: Headaches
Have you ever been the recipient of some unfortunate news that stresses you out, only to realize that you have manifested a headache as a result of this additional stress? Studies of people with chronic headaches reported that at least 45 percent of the time, the onset of a headache was preceded by a perceived stressful event. Stress is reported the number one trigger for headaches and muscle tension in the neck and shoulders which contributes to head pain. Consider some stress management techniques that reduce tension in the upper back, neck, and shoulders, and reduce your chances of headache pain when a stressful situation occurs.
Sign #3: Chronic pain
Aches and pains are a common complaint in those who claim to experience ongoing stress. Cortisol is thought to be a player in this game; it seems that increased levels of this stress-induced hormone are responsible for the onset of chronic pain. Excess stress in the body tends to trap toxins in muscle, bone, and tissue, making it difficult for the body to slough off what it needs to in order to stay healthy. This can also contribute to the development of chronic pain and inflammation. By breathing deeply, eating detoxifying foods and regularly exercising, you can help to purify the body. Practice these three things and you’ll see and feel a difference.
Sign #4: Frequent illness
If you feel like you are constantly battling the next virus and cold that is circulating, stress may be to blame. Constant stress subdues the immune system, making it difficult for your body to fight off bacterial and viral invaders. Studies done on both high and low-level stress groups indicated that those experiencing high amounts of stress were more likely to develop symptoms indicative of illness. Wash those hands, cover those coughs, and lower your stress levels!
Sign #5: Decreased energy and insomnia
It would seem that these two symptoms go hand in hand, wouldn’t it? These symptoms become a destructive and circular pattern; insomnia brought on by high-stress levels lead to low energy in the daytime. This may add to your stress levels as you don’t have enough energy to complete the simplest of tasks. Consider some meditation and simple breathing at bedtime to quiet that mind and prepare for a more restful night’s sleep.
Sign #6: Changes in libido
Uh, oh……increased stress adds to changes in libido? No wonder things have fizzled out in the bedroom! High levels of stress do negatively impact sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction, much to the dismay of your partner. Find simple things you can do to relieve your stress, and perhaps the two of you can relieve more stress a bit later in the evening…
Sign #7: Digestive issues
Digestive issues such as diarrhea and constipation can also be indicators of excess stress. Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease are exacerbated by excess stress. In addition, ulcers can develop in the stomach and intestines as a result of excess stomach acid present in the system during periods of high stress. Walking a minimum of 30 minutes per day can help the body to process meals and fend off other signs of stress.
Sign #8: Changes in appetite
Digestive issues and stomach upset brought on by the previous symptom can lead to changes in appetite. This could go one of two ways for you… 1 – you could experience a decrease in appetite, or 2 – you’ll eat ravenously, unable to stop yourself from reaching for chocolate and chips. Put down the Mars bar, mama! Close the Pringles can, papa! You’ll be glad you did, as you won’t be stressed out by continued poor dietary choices.
Sign #9: Depression
Ongoing, chronic stress can lead to depression and changes in brain chemistry that make it difficult to see the sunny side of life. Studies have shown that depressive symptoms were common among those who experience acute and chronic stress. Furthermore, it was common to develop symptoms after a significantly stressful event or being overworked in your job. When you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it is important to talk to and connect with others so you can get the support you need. Healthy human relationships are vital for battling stress and depression, stay connected no matter how low you go.
Sign #10: Rapid heartbeat
High levels of stress can lead to increased heart rate and respiration. Over time, this condition of “high alert” that our bodies are placed in becomes harmful as systems in the body become overworked and overtaxed. Learning the technique of slow, deliberate breathing and conscious muscle relaxation will aid you in the release of stress that otherwise might harm your body.
Other ways to manage and reduce stress
It’s important to realise that everyone experiences stress from time to time; you are not alone. Recognising it is half the battle. To recap and find other ways to manage and reduce stress levels we suggest:
- Being aware of the signs and symptoms of stress
- Speaking to friends and family to get support
- Learning to identify and avoid stressful situations and triggers
- Exercising regularly to stimulate the release of endorphins
- Practicing mindfulness techniques
- Improving sleep habits and sleep quality
Doing these on a regular basis will help you to manage your stress levels, and in turn, help you to create a better quality of life. Implement some changes to reduce your stress slowly and consistently, and you’ll be feeling better in no time!
Click on the following link to learn more about the different types of stress.
If you think you have any of the above signs of stress and would like to find out how you can better manage your stress levels, contact Monica today to book an appointment.
Please use the contact form below to email me, or alternatively contact me on 07772 467 444, for appointments or further information.