Stress is something we all face in one form another in our lives. Knowing the signs of stress and how to fight back can help you see it coming and potentially deal with it faster.
Not all stress is bad. Acute stress can actually be good for us in some amounts. This is the kind of stress from doing something like going for a hike or running in a race. The excitement and physical exertion can cause acute stress on the body that actually helps you feel alive and enjoy the rewards of the hard work your body is doing.
The stress you need to watch out for is chronic stress. Here are just a few warning signs your body might give you to tell if you might be experiencing chronic stress.
Forgetting things / Confusion / Disorganization
Ever forget things the moment you hear them? Feel like you just can’t absorb all the information that you know normally would not be a big deal for you?
This could be your body saying it’s time to slow down a bit.
Overwhelmed / Overloaded
Stress can make feel like things are coming at you from all directions. There may actually be too many things in your life at that moment and that could be causing the stress. Or, you might just feel overwhelmed even by your normal daily load due to some other area of life producing chronic stress.
Feeling Lonely or Worthless
You may even get to a point of feeling despair and not able to measure up to life’s expectations. This can really push you down emotionally and may be a strong sign of chronic stress in some area of your life.
There are many more ways your body could try to communicate to you about there being too much stress. If you feel you may be experiencing signs of stress, try to think about where they may be coming from. Even though you may feel powerless against stress there are likely things you can do to reduce stress and very likely things you can do to try and better cope with stress.
A common first thought might be your job. Maybe you just have too much to do at work or the work you have is very demanding. While this might be the case sometimes stress can come at us from areas we may not first think of.
Sleep is one. Sleep deprivation may sound like someone going for days without sleeping at all but it can be caused by simply getting too little sleep night after night. If you know your body functions best on 8 hours but you allow it only 5-6 hours each night this could be a big factor in your stress symptoms.
Diet is another. Eating foods that cannot provide your body adequate nutrients could cause stress symptoms as well.
Sleep and diet are the two areas I would first look to reducing stress. Next I would look at making sure you are getting regular exercise.
Tea has also been known to aid in the reduction stress-induced cortisol in your system. Black and green teas are great for this.
Looking for how to get started? The Balanced for Life book can help get you moving in the right direction.