We all know stress is an inescapable part of modern life, but there is such a thing as too much stress. The trouble is, we often get into such a rut that the excessive pressure starts to seem reasonable. Fortunately, researchers know more about stress than ever before, and the impact it can have on one’s health. If you exhibit any of the following signs, it might be time to consider stress relief and stress management strategies.
Signs That You Are Under Too Much Stress
Those under too much stress report headaches and migraines more often. The headaches can be severe, and in particular, migraines can be so severe they might require going into a darkened room with no noise until they cease, a process that can sometimes take two or three days.
Mental Focus and Clarity
Those under too much stress might find it hard to concentrate on anything else other than what they might be worried about. They can also forget things easily and feel as though they are living in a mental fog.
Aches and Pains
Many people with chronic stress have aches and pains in their jaw, neck, back and more. They might even discover that they grind their teeth (a condition known as bruxism), especially at night.
People with chronic stress might have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. They might get up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep. Or they might experience early morning waking. Some might even be wakened in the middle of the night because they are grinding their teeth.
Most adults need 8 to 9 hours of restful, high-quality sleep per night, so paying attention to one’s sleep habits can help.
None of us are at our best when we are under stress. A lack of sleep can make things even worse. Some people become irritable, angry, and even aggressive. Others become anxious, depressed and withdrawn. Outward emotions can damage relationships with colleagues and loved ones. Internalizing the stress can lead to poor self-care, self-harm, and in extreme cases, suicidal thoughts and actions. “Escaping” the stress can be managed with the right stress relief and stress management techniques.
Their stress levels might have a direct impact on what they eat as well, leading to poor choices such as fast food, junk food, too many sweets, and/or binge eating of a lot of calories, or certain foods such as chocolate or ice cream. This “comfort food” soon becomes discomfort food, especially if the person is already struggling with their weight and health.
Frequent Colds and Flu
This is a sign that the immune system is not working at its best.
Inflammation is persistent irritation of the body. It can sometimes affect the immune system and lead to autoimmune disorders, in which the body starts to attack itself. Examples include rheumatoid arthritis and various thyroid issues. Inflammation can also trigger cardiovascular issues.
Cardiovascular issues refer to your heart health and that of your blood vessels. Those with chronic stress tend to be more prone to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack and stroke.
Learning how to manage stress through a healthy diet, exercise and stress relief strategies (such as meditation, yoga, and relaxation techniques) can all lower blood pressure naturally and get you back on track to better health.