Stress is our biggest enemy. It is everywhere and exists in everything we do. It lowers our immune system and it’s the main culprit behind every illness, unhealthy condition, every pain.
Even though it is considered as a normal physical response whenever our body thinks it’s being attacked (‘fight or flight’ mode), an extended period of stress can harm our well-being more than we’re aware of.
WebMD says stress is: “…any change in the environment that requires your body to react and adjust in response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life. Many events that happen to you and around you — and many things that you do yourself — put stress on your body. You can experience good or bad forms of stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts.”
However sometimes, due to an overexposure to stress, we might not realize we’ve reached code RED. Here are 9 symptoms that show you’re overstressed but you might not know it yet:
1. YOUR BODY IS HURTING
We tend to ignore the whispers of our body until it starts to scream. And that’s when it gets most dangerous. Under high-stress levels, our body will start to collapse. This pretty much applies to everything you forget to nurture.
You’ll start experiencing stomach aches, headaches, ulcers, tense muscles, diarrhea, chest pains. Overexposure to stress will have your body screaming for help in no time. And when that happens, don’t ignore it. Be aware of every sudden change in your well-being. And take proper measures.
2. YOU HAVE TROUBLES SLEEPING
Any change in your sleeping patterns, like chronic insomnia or the constant feeling of exhaustion, needs to be reviewed. If it’s immediately addressed it can be improved by adopting a healthier lifestyle like a regular exercise routine, meditation, balanced diet etc.
But the most important thing you need to do is to find the root to all of these issues. What are the things that burden your mind? When you’re sleeping, do you maybe have nightmares?
It’s no doubt that our daily experiences are memorized inside our subconsciousness. But, it is essential to be aware of the things that affect you in a harmful way and start working on yourself.
3. YOU EXPERIENCE SUDDEN CHANGES IN YOUR WEIGHT
One of the most common symptoms of experiencing extreme stress are fluctuations in your eating patterns and, as a result, sudden changes in your weight.
Are you overeating, or you keep forgetting to eat?
Changes in appetite is a serious sign that mustn’t be ignored. Stress can slow our metabolism and make us gain weight.
So, when your mind is occupied with worrying, instead of addressing the issues you might experience unexpected weight gain or extreme weight loss.
Remember, food is energy. And what we decide to put inside our body is a pretty much valid sign of how we handle things. Choose wisely.
4. YOUR MIND IS CONSTANTLY PREOCCUPIED WITH WORK OR PROBLEMS
If you can’t find a time to distance yourself from all the work that is stressing you out, in order to find the much-needed balance, you have a serious problem.
As the great Mark Twain once said, “Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.” You won’t find happiness and serenity until you detach from everything that’s making you nuts.
Work is work, but you should never allow it to affect your private life, and personal wellbeing. It’s time to become more self-aware and adopt self-care as a fundamental principle in your life.
5. YOU CAN’T SIT STILL
If you feel like you can’t sit still, and you are constantly twitching, that’s a major sign that you might need a long and revitalizing rest. Stress can be the cause of the much-feared anxiety.
So, if you already feel like you’re on a verge of a breakdown, stop, breathe in, breath out and start working on yourself. Whether it’s a walk in the park, or a silent contemplation, gentle exercises, or alone time with your thoughts, it’ll be of great importance for your wellbeing.
6. YOU’VE STARTED TO LOSE PATIENCE WITH OTHERS
Another sign that you might be at a bad place in life is the inability to be patient and more tolerant of the people around you. Unfortunately, the victims of our exhausted and overstressed condition are our loved ones.
If you find yourself bursting out with anger, there might be something that’s tormenting you brain. And sometimes, the easiest way is accepting your vulnerability and asking for help. The overall lack of patience and tolerance is a clear sign that you need a TIME OUT.
7. YOU HAVE EXTREME MOOD SWINGS
Our mental health pretty much depends on our stress levels. So, if you find yourself smiling and then immediately crying, it’s a sign that your hormones might be seriously affected by an overexposure to stress.
Keeping things inside and dealing with everything all by yourself will eventually push you over the edge. Don’t be afraid to get help. Talk to others. Confide in your loved ones. A prolonged period of extreme stress can not only injure your body, but it can also destroy your relationships.
8. YOUR LIBIDO IS GETTING LOWER
The loss of libido is a symptom that most people would avoid talking about. Hardly anyone will acknowledge a problem in “that” particular area. However, it is something that at some point it has affected all of us.
Whenever stress levels get higher, the hormone secretions responsible for sexual desire get affected. Stress makes us exhausted, weaker and unable to experience any kind of physical pleasure.
If you find yourself experiencing this more than often, it’s time to try some of the relaxation techniques. You should be able to talk about it with your partner. Express your feelings and concerns. But, most importantly, address the issue at once.
9. YOU EXPERIENCE HAIR LOSS
Hair loss can be just another issue due to extreme stress.
According to Carolyn Jacob, MD, founder and medical director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, “Typically, people shed about 100 hairs a day. Sometimes, a significant stress may spark a change in your body’s routine physiological functions, and cause a disproportionate number of hairs to go into the resting phase at the same time.
“Then three to four months later, sometimes longer, all those resting hairs are shed. The effect can be alarming. The types of events that disrupt the normal hair cycle can be caused by the substantial physiological stresses on your body.”