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Apr 12

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Symptoms of Stress: Is Stress from Your Hectic Life Making You Sick?

Learn to identify the physical, mental & emotional symptoms of stress which are common in our hectic lives! Plus some tips & tools to help you manage stressSymptoms of Stress: Is Stress from Your Hectic Life Making You Sick?

Stress has become an epidemic of the 21st century. It slowly creeps into our lives and affects our mental and physical health. Stressing out over every little thing is what we do now in this hectic, busy day and age.

We’re constantly bombarded with responsibilities from our jobs, our families, and that’s not even mentioning stimulation we’re accosted with from all the technological advances we have around us 24/7 with our phones, tablets, computers.

Our brains are trained to react in a fight or flight response when faced with any number of situations. This automatic response has come in handy for thousands of years whenever a mountain lion suddenly jumped out in front of us, but now it isn’t practical as much.

When this happens, certain changes happen in our bodies; the brain releases huge amounts of cortisol to alert us and give us a quick burst of energy. Heart rate quickens due to the adrenaline being pumped through our veins.

All this is good if it stays for a while, then returns to normal. Increased stress boosts productivity and creativity, but being stressed out for too long quickly turns all good things into a deteriorating mess. However, due to our hectic lifestyles, we stay in this fight or flight state for prolonged periods of time. This can cause serious damage to our health in various ways.

We need tools to de-stress and unwind so we can decrease the levels of cortisol, the hormone that causes us to stress out, and calm the nervous system. High levels of cortisol can affect our blood pressure, blood glucose levels and can also have a negative effect on our memory and concentration levels.

Here are some negative symptoms brought on by our stressful lives:

Physical Symptoms of Stress:

  • Dizziness
  • Hypertension
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Grinding teeth
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • General aches and pains

 

Mental Symptoms of Stress:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Memory trouble
  • Constant worry
  • Lack of creativity
  • Indecisiveness

 

Emotional Symptoms of Stress:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Negative thinking
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Mood swings
  • Withdrawal from social situations
  • Feeling overwhelmed

 

The only way to minimize the negative effects of stress is to eliminate the source of what causes us stress by rethinking or realigning.

 

Here are a few tips to help you regain the balance between your busy lifestyle and living a full, happy life:

Write it down

Make a list of what worries you then look at it a week later. You can also write down each day’s schedule, errands, and chores. It will minimize your stress when you actually see what you have to do each day. Then crossing it out as you go through your day will feel you with a sense of accomplishment.

Also, manage your time by planning your day, week, and month. This will increase your productivity and make life clearer and well defined. This will help you create healthy, practical routines that will add structure to your life and ease your anxiety.

 

Talk it out

When you talk about your day with your family, friends, or a therapist, it lowers your stress levels and puts things into perspective.

 

Eat right

When you eat right, you have more energy to take on any challenging situations that may arise. Your brain also functions with more clarity and focus. In addition, when you are in good physical shape, your self-confidence soars and you feel more empowered.

 

Physical exercise

When you do any type of moderate exercise, you release stress-relieving endorphins, which are your happy hormones. This helps reverse the flight or fight response, lowers blood pressure and strengthens the cardiovascular system.

Exercising regularly also enhances the immune system so you don’t get sick quite as often, and it protects your body against serious diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer.

 

Get quality sleep

Not getting enough sleep makes you feel exhausted and unable to think clearly. Try to aim at 7 – 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep during the night. Also, try including a 10-20 minute power nap during the day. With a clear mind, you will work smarter and get more done.

 

Mediate

Even if only for 5 minutes each day, practicing meditation is a great tool for handling stress and chronic anxiety. Breathing deeply through the abdomen lowers blood pressure and pulse rate.

 

The only way to control our stress and relax more is to be fully aware of your stress factors and how to cope with them.

Find your personal antidote and make it your go-to tool when you’re stressed out, and even before you are stressed as a preventative measure.

 

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