Everyone experiences stress; it’s almost unavoidable in the modern world. College exams, job interviews, entrance exams for graduate programs, a big deadline at work, and the list is practically endless.
However, there is a point when stress can start to become truly harmful. If you start experiencing any (or all!) of these signs of stress, it may be time to do something about it.
Fatigue and Problems Sleeping
If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep (and you can’t blame it on too much caffeine), it’s time to do something about your stress levels.
Headaches and/or Muscle Pain and Tension
Chances are you know how your body reacts when you’re stressed. Pay attention to what your body is telling you! If you’re uncomfortable, it may be due to the amount of stress you’re under. I carry all my tension in my neck and shoulders, so when that area starts to get uncomfortable, I know I need to take a break.
Changes in Mood
You’re rude to a friend out of the blue, you can’t seem to sit still, or you’ve started crying at random intervals. It may be that stress is affecting your mood, and thus your behavior. That’s not to say that you can blame stress for all of your bad moods, but if you can’t seem to shake it you may want to ask yourself if stress is to blame.
Lack of Motivation or Focus
When we are stressed out we start feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. When this happens we have an extremely difficult time getting anything done. For some stress can be a motivating factor, but if you’re losing focus on a project that you know is important or that you were previously excited about, stress may be the root of the problem.
Overeating or Under Eating
The food you eat is the fuel for everything you do. Both over and under eating can cause problems (the word hangry was created for a reason). So when you notice you’ve drifted away from your typical eating habits, stress may be an underlying cause.
If you realize that you’re experiencing one or more of these factors, try some physical activity or other stress management technique in the short term. Favorite stress-busters are ‘taking positive action,’ exercise, baths, long walks or yoga.
What is stressing you and what can you do about it?
Hate your job?
Your partner is not a good match?
Feeling hopeless or trapped?
Start making choices and taking baby steps to get you out of the stress.
Start taking some control of the situation no matter how small. ( a little and a little = a lot)
Positive action will make you feel better.
Taking control of your stress level may help you not only feel better now, but also improve your long term health.
Scientists have linked stress to a decrease in memory, a weakened immune system, and even weight gain.
N Lepore (Mind Body Green)