Stress is a real problem for many people, and it can manifest itself in several different ways. From feeling like you’re unable to get anything done to experiencing physical symptoms like nausea or headaches, there are plenty of signs that you’re experiencing more stress than the average person does. In this article, we’ll examine some common physical signals of stress and discuss how you might be able to reduce your own levels of stress.
What is Stress?
Stress is a normal part of everyday life. Stress can be good, such as when we feel overstretched to finish an important project at work. This stress motivates us to work harder and faster in order to meet the deadline.
However, stress can also be bad. If we experience too much stress over time it could lead to anxiety or depression which could have negative impacts on our body and mind.
Stress is not just physical though; there are also psychological aspects of stress that impact our emotions and behavior as well. For example, if we get angry every time someone cuts us off in traffic then that’s considered a mental aspect of our experience with stress because it’s happening inside our head rather than outside with another person or situation (which would be classified under “physical” since it happens externally).
Read Also: Ways to Turn Stress into Success
Physical signals of you’re further stressed than you realize
Headaches are a common symptom when we’re overstretched, and it’s no coincidence. Stress can trigger tension headaches, which are characterized by pain on both sides of the head and an aching feeling in the back of the neck, shoulders, or jaw. Headaches that occur after a stressful event—and actually go away when we relax—are likely caused by tension. If our headache doesn’t improve with rest and is accompanied by nausea, dizziness, or blurred vision, see our doctor right away: It could be caused by something further serious than stress.
Dehydration is a condition in which the body does not have enough water. It can cause a number of problems, including headaches, fatigue, and muscle cramps. Other symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth and eyes; itchy skin; dark urine; and light-colored stools or constipation.
We may be dehydrated if we experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis without eating salty foods or sweating heavily. We can also ask our doctor to check our blood pressure to see if it’s lower than normal—a signal that we’re not drinking enough water every day.
The problem of the digestive system
Digestive issues like indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and gas are often caused by stress. Stress can cause us to eat extra or less than normal and it can also affect what we choose to eat. Our digestive system is very sensitive to signals from our brain that tell us how much food the body needs at any given time. The signals from our brain may be affected by stress hormones such as cortisol which are released when we’re under pressure. This can lead to eating too much or too little food which will affect how well our body digests it.
Change in sleep schedule
If we have trouble sleeping, or if we’re feeling tired during the day, it may be time to take a look at our sleep schedule. It’s normal for people who are overstretched to have trouble sleeping—they might not get enough sleep at night, or they might experience insomnia or nightmares.
We may also find ourselves waking up too early in the morning and unable to fall back asleep again. This is especially common for people who work full-time jobs and/or go back to school—the stress of these responsibilities can keep them awake at night in some cases. If this happens regularly and becomes disruptive, then it’s best to talk with our doctor about how best to get some restful nights of sleep without having side effects like fatigue during the day (especially if this is affecting our ability at work).
Hair loss is a common symptom of stress. Stress can cause hair loss, but it can also be caused by other conditions, such as genetics or medications.
If we notice patches of hair falling in the shower or from our comb, it’s important to check with our doctor. Hair loss shouldn’t be ignored because it could indicate other health problems such as anemia or hormonal imbalance.
Chest pain is the most common symptom of stress, and it can be caused by a number of factors. Some people experience chest pain from heart disease, high blood pressure or angina—others may be experiencing muscular chest wall pain.
If we’re experiencing chest pain on a regular basis, it’s important that we visit our physician immediately to know the exact causes. The sooner medical professionals are able to treat these underlying issues, the better off we’ll be in the long run.
Lots of sweating
Sweating is typically a signal that your body is trying to cool itself down. But when you start sweating in response to stress or anxiety, it’s a good indication that your nervous system has been activated—a feeling known as “fight-or-flight”. This can happen during physical activity or intense mental work, but if you’re sweating excessively at other times of day, it could be an early warning signal of chronic stress.
Some people are further prone to this than others because sweaty palms and armpits have been linked to certain genetic factors (such as the MAO gene). On top of that, hot weather and certain medical conditions (like hyperthyroidism) can make it harder for your body to regulate its temperature effectively.
Change of hormone
In addition to the physical changes listed above, stress can also cause the body to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is released by the adrenal glands to help your body cope with stress. The level of cortisol in your body will increase when you are overstretched.
Even though this change may seem like it’s only temporary and not too serious, it could actually lead to further serious health problems down the road if not addressed properly.
Muscle tension is a common physical signal of stress, anxiety, and other psychological factors. When we feel overstretched, our muscles tense up in preparation for action or to help us deal with the source of stress. This is a natural response that can be useful if it helps you get through an uncomfortable situation safely. However, it can also lead to other problems such as headaches, muscle aches, and pain in your back or neck.
If you find yourself experiencing muscle tension frequently, try taking deep breaths when you feel overstretched to relax your muscles and reduce your overall level of tension throughout your body.
Skin rashes are a symptom that you’re overstretched. They can appear on your face, neck, back, and arms and come in many different forms:
- Dry and scaly
- Red or bumpy
The form of the rash is not as important as figuring out what’s causing it—and then addressing it. If you’re experiencing stress-related skin rashes along with other signals of stress on this list (like insomnia or headaches), try to find ways to reduce your anxiety level.
Decrease immune system
You might be surprised to know that stress can actually weaken your immune system. Your body is a complex organism, and when you’re overstretched, it’s more likely to get sick. Stress causes us to make fewer white blood cells, which are the cells that fight off viruses and bacteria that cause infection. So if you’re constantly feeling overstretched, it will be harder for your body to fight off illness.
Your ability to fight off germs is also affected by how much sleep you get each night—and getting enough rest is especially important when you’re feeling overstretched! When we don’t sleep well at night, our bodies produce excessive cortisol—a hormone associated with stress—which makes our immune systems weaker during daylight hours when they need them most.
Too much gain weight
If you’ve been gaining weight lately, there may be several reasons for it. Stress is one of the most common causes of weight gain. It can cause you to eat excessively and crave unhealthy foods like processed carbs and sugary snacks. Stress can also make you eat at night when your body isn’t hungry and drive up your risk for obesity-related medical problems such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
If stress is a factor in your weight gain, it’s important to find ways to reduce or manage your stress levels as well as maintain healthy eating habits that support your body’s natural ability to burn excess fat during times of low physical activity or restful sleep.
Fatigue is a common symptom of stress, and it can also be one of the earliest signals that your body is under pressure. There are many things that can cause fatigue, including lack of sleep and exercise, not drinking enough water, or even an illness. Fatigue may be caused by a number of different factors during times of high stress—or simply because you have been pushing yourself too hard in general.
If you’re experiencing fatigue on a regular basis without any obvious reasons (like illness), this could mean that you’re further overstretched than you realize. Take note: if this pattern continues for longer than two weeks after the source has passed (such as the end of finals week), it’s time for action! You’ll want to talk with someone about how to better manage your energy levels in order to prevent this from happening again.
As you can see, there are a number of signals and symptoms that could indicate you’re further overstretched than you realize. If you think your stress level might be too high, take steps to reduce it. There are many different ways to do this. Start by taking time for yourself each day and practicing mindfulness techniques like meditation or yoga. You also might find that simple activities like listening to music and writing down your thoughts help relieve stress levels without being too taxing on your time or energy reserves.