Do You Experience Any of These?
Stress symptoms manifest in different ways for different people. This is because each of us experience stress in different ways. A situation that makes me stressed might be child's-play to you.
You can only apply effective stress management if you can recognise stress symptoms. But most of us are so used to stress, we don't recognise the symptoms until we reach a breaking point.
No part of the human body is immune to stress: emotions, your body, and your thinking ability can suffer.
Stress symptoms and symptoms caused by other medical conditions can sometimes be the same.
So, if you recognise any of the symptoms discussed in this article, please talk to a professional. Do not diagnose yourself - something other than stress can cause your symptoms.
We encourage you to seek advice from an alternative wellness practitioner instead of a regular doctor. The reason for is that regular doctors are not concerned with the causes of your symptoms. They will merely give you a generic drug that will give you temporary relief from your symptoms. But, for a better life, it is important to find and focus on the CAUSE of your symptoms.
STRESS SYMPTOMS: EMOTIONAL
YOU OFTEN BECOME IRRITATED, FRUSTRATED, AND MOODY
Everyone becomes irritable from time to time. But when it happens too often and when you feel out of control, it's time to pause and reflect.
Irritability affects everyone around you. Consider a senior colleague at work - if he/she shows up at work in a bad mood, everyone catches on and the atmosphere changes for the worst.
Irritability is a low tolerance for things that would otherwise not bother you at all. Such 'little things' make you react more aggressive than you would under normal circumstances. You may snap at, bark at, or chastise those around you.
Try to find the source of your stress soon so you can address and manage it. If ignored, your frustration will only evolve until you experience a break-down.
CONSTANTLY FEELING OVERWHELMED
You can only focus on complete anxiety and distress and everything seems hopeless.
An overwhelmed person may also experience a rapid heartbeat, chest pains, have trouble breathing, nausea, and lightheadedness.
Find distractions. It will take your mind off of the overwhelmed feelings you experience. Try to build a puzzle or go for a walk (for example). Activities that shifts your focus may give you some perspective.
OTHER EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS:
- Difficulty to relax and quiet your mind.
- Low self-esteem, loneliness, feelings of worthlessness and depression.
- You avoid loved ones, friends, and colleagues.
STRESS SYMPTOMS: PHYSICAL
We refer to stress-related headaches as tension headaches. It's a diffuse, mild-to-moderate pain in your head. People often describes it as though there is a tight band around their head (s). Your normal lifestyle can be disrupted because of tension headaches.
You can try to relieve these headaches by making time for yourself ("me-time"), meditation, and deep breathing.
ACHES AND PAINS
Prolonged stress causes our muscles to tense up and results in aches and pains. Studies have shown that increased levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, may be associated with chronic pain.
Anxiety and stress-related aches and pains persist even when you try to relax and sleep. You may awake with a sore body. It can affect any part of your body, and can migrate to different parts of your body.
Short-term techniques to relieve aches and pains include having a massage, taking a warm (not hot) bath, and gentle stretching.
DECREASED ENERGY AND INSOMNIA
In a study of 2483 people, they discovered that overall fatigue is associated with increased levels of stress.
Anxiety and/or stress and unhealthy sleep patterns go hand-in-hand: anxiety and/or stress can cause a sleep disorder, and a sleep disorder can cause anxiety and/or stress.
People who have a sleep disorder are at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
To sleep better, you can meditate, establish a regular bedtime routine, don't work in your bedroom, make your bedroom a quiet place, and exercise.
"Inflammation is partly regulated by the hormone cortisol and when cortisol is not allowed to serve this function, inflammation can get out of control.… The immune system's ability to regulate inflammation predicts who will develop a cold, but more importantly it provides an explanation of how stress can promote disease.
When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well."
Dr Sheldon Cohen, professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University.
Too many colds and infections are signs that your are too stressed. Chronic stress and anxiety can lead to worse medical conditions such as digestive health issues, asthma, and heart disease.
Avoid frequent sickness with a healthy diet, exercise, higher vitamin D intake, and less sugar.
OTHER PHYSICAL STRESS SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:
- Upset stomach (including diarrhoea, constipation, and nausea).
- Loss of sexual desire and/or ability.
- Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet.
- Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing.
- Clenched jaw and grinding teeth.
STRESS SYMPTOMS: COGNITIVE
- Constant worrying.
- Racing thoughts.
- Forgetfulness and disorganisation.
- Inability to focus.
- Poor judgement.
- Pessimistic attitude or seeing only the negative side.
STRESS SYMPTOMS: BEHAVIOURAL
- Changes in appetite (either not eating or eating too much).
- Procrastination and avoiding responsibilities.
- Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes.
- Other nervous behaviours, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing.
CONSEQUENCES OF CHRONIC STRESS AND ANXIETY
Chronic stress is a slow and painful killer. Without proper stress management, a person's is at risk of:
- Too many toxins in the brain.
- Greater risk for mental illness.
- Increased risk for developing Alzheimer's and dementia.
- Dangerous cycle of fear and depression.
- Medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disease.
- Ruined personal relationships.
Article written by Melissa Niemann
Are you concerned that you or someone you know are experiencing too much stress? Read this article on effective stress management techniques.
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