11 Signs Of High Stress That Are Often Overlooked

Lifestyle & Health

Stress has become an epidemic these days. Demanding schedules, financial difficulties, problems in personal relationships, and other issues can lead to stress, and if you’re stressed all the time, this state can take a heavy toll on your physical and mental well-being. It’s well-known that stress can aggravate existing health problems and lead to new ones.

You may not even realize you’re too stressed. But there are some signs your body and mind may give you when it’s time to slow down a little bit and relax.

Tiredness

Stress keeps you on high alert, and that can deplete your energy resources. Getting your usual 8 hours of sleep a night (granted that you don’t also have a sleep disorder) may be doing little to improve your tiredness. So, if you’ve been feeling unusually tired lately, and the tiredness isn’t caused by anything particular you’ve been doing, chronic stress may be the reason.

Changes in appetite and weight

Many people tend to have cravings for something specific, such as chocolate, when they are stressed. Stress can also make you overeat when you’re not hungry – this is called “emotional eating”. Or the opposite can happen – some of us who are stressed can lose appetite and eat less. If such changes in eating habits persist, they can lead to weight gain or weight loss.

Sleepiness or sleeplessness

Hormonal changes caused by chronic stress can lead to changes in your sleep patterns. You can either lie wide awake at night, unable to close your eyes and fall asleep, or start sleeping more than you used to and feel drowsy during the day. Some stressed-out people also start having weird, unpleasant dreams.

Edginess

If you find yourself constantly snapping at your family, friends, or coworkers without a good reason, it may be a sign that the stress is getting the better of you.

Cognitive problems

Stress can make it harder to learn and remember things, make decisions (even minor ones), and make routine tasks at home and at work seem undoable. Maybe, you’ve been doing too much and need a break.

Smoking and drinking more

Being too stressed can lead to attempts to relieve the tension by smoking more often and drinking more alcohol. Even people who don’t smoke or drink can adopt these harmful habits when they are under stress.

Headaches

Headaches are a common physical sign of being stressed-out. Painkillers provide only a temporary relief in this case; what you really need to do is find ways to reduce your levels of stress.

Digestive symptoms

Many people feel nauseous when they are in stressful situations; some may even vomit. Prolonged stress can lead to changes in bowel movements (either constipation or diarrhea).

Hair loss

If you’ve been stressed for a long time, your hair may start falling out. It will not fall out in clumps but can still be noticeable enough and make you even more stressed. If you’re losing hair, consult a dermatologist, who may help you find a solution to this problem.

Weakened immune system

Chronic stress can even interfere with the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and hormones that regulate how your immune system works. This can make you less able to fight off infections. Regular exercise is a good way to both relieve stress and improve the function of your immune system.

Increased perspiration

It’s common knowledge that you sweat more when you are under stress. Being stressed all the time can lead to excessive perspiration even in situations that aren’t supposed to be stressful. Sweating too much can be embarrassing and could be a sign of hyperhidrosis, which is disorder that can be treated. If you’re constantly sweating and stress reduction provides no relief, tell your doctor about this issue.

Source: Reader's Digest, The American Institute of Stress, Lifehack, Rodale Wellness, Prevention

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.