The signs of stress are easily recognizable for the most part. You keep overthinking and worrying till it makes you sick. Stress is a natural reaction to damaging situations and messes with our mental and physical health over time.
The truth is, human beings are being bombarded by stress now more than ever before, and that means we put ourselves at high risk for health issues.
That is why you must pay close attention to the following symptoms which may lead to something worse down the road:
1. Feeling tired without being tired
Stress affects your body physiologically by bringing hormones into your blood system which can accelerate your breathing and your heart rate. This never-ending strain can have a tiring effect, leaving you feeling tired even if you’ve had enough rest.
To make things even worse, this can also mess with your sleep. Stress activates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in the brain, which plays a major role in sleep-wake regulation. It may cause you to lose a lot of precious sleep while you’re fighting the same issue in your head time and time again as your brain tries to find a way to combat the problem.
2. Muscle tension and headaches
Feeling tension in your muscles is one of the key signs of too much stress, and it tends to be more pronounced in the neck and shoulder area. That is why a massage therapist may ask whether you’ve been experiencing stress lately when your neck and shoulders feel cripplingly tense.
Stress is also a common cause for headaches and can trigger all kinds of headaches like migraines, or make an existing headache much worse.
3. Itchy skin
This may sound strange, but sometimes when you’re highly stressed you may find yourself scratching your arms or parts of your face or head. This is because stress increases the inflammation of your skin and sometimes physical sensations feel much more tense than usual. You can also be experiencing tingling sensations that you mistake for itchiness.
4. Being tearful
Some people react to high levels of stress by shedding tears as well as/or becoming irritable. However, tears are not just the result of stress, they also function as a support mechanism to guide you out of stress. Crying helps you release excess stress hormones like cortisol, so feeling better after shedding some tears might also be a good thing.
5. Weight gain
As we already mentioned, excess stress results in high levels of cortisol rushing through your blood. Cortisol can prompt you to eat more than normal as well as retain calories because it thinks you are in a situation of emergency.
6. Low libido
In order for your sex drive to function normally, your hormones and neurological system need to be in balance. When you are too stressed, you release stress hormones, which mess with this balance and can lead to an undesired loss of libido.
7. Lack of concentration
When you start feeling as if your mind is becoming a mess and you cannot seem to get anything done in time when you have plenty to do, you may have to blame it on your stress levels. Stress can have a terrible effect on your ability to think with a clear mind and focus on the tasks at hand. It messes with the areas of the brain that are in charge of creating sharp thoughts, so being under a lot of stress can have an incredibly distracting effect on you.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful. Let us know your thoughts on the topic by joining the conversation in the comments and please share if you’ve enjoyed the read.