We all get stressed. It could come from simple day-to-day activities or harder and more challenging stuff happening with us. From disciplining your kids, to dealing with a difficult relationship, to trying to manage your finances, you will find stress everywhere. It’s normal if you’re a little stressed, okay even. However, when you’re way too stressed to breathe, then you’ll become burned out and could be negatively affected both mentally and physically.
Some people are so stressed and they do not even realize how stressed they are. It is a harmful thing to not know you’re so stressed until you break down completely. The first step to managing stress is recognizing what the symptoms are. You’ll be shocked what these symptoms are because some people already got used to these conditions and consider them “normal”.
What Is Stress?
Stress is the feeling you get when your body has been subjected to overwork and is trying to cope. It’s the body reacting to certain unfavourable conditions that require adjustment or complete change. This happens whether these conditions are real or perceived. When your body feels threatened, a chemical reaction takes place, helping the body protect itself and prevent injury. This stress response is often known as “fight or flight”. In periods like that, the heart races faster, your breathing quickens, your blood pressure shoots up and your muscles tighten up. It’s the body’s way of getting ready to face harm. This is why people with blood pressure issues are advised not to be in positions that the body could perceive as harmful as it could lead to a cardiac arrest.
People react differently to conditions that have the potential to induce stress. What would induce stress in one person could be totally inconsequential to another. Some others handle stress better than most people would. Stress is good in small doses as the able is able to handle and react promptly to it. As long as chronic stress is concerned though, the body is unable to handle it and will eventually break down.
Symptoms of Stress
Stress has a direct effect on the body as it releases hormones into the bloodstream which affects the heart rate and breathing. Constantly having the body go through this process will eventually get it exhausted and get you fatigued.
What’s most funny is that sometimes when your body is that fatigued, it could cause you to have sleeping problems. You’ll often find that you are unable to fall asleep .
According to research, stress causes the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in the brain to get activated. This contributes to the sleep-wake regulation. You could lose sleep and find that you continuously going over issues in your head that you have gone through before. It’s your brain working overtime and trying to come up with a solution.
The kinds of headaches you get from stress are called “stress headaches” or “tension headaches”. It will usually last anything from thirty minutes to a few hours. They usually feel like there’s pressure on a part of your head and could cause the neck and shoulders to become tense. If you find that you’re suffering from these kinds of headaches, then you most likely are very stressed.
Loss of libido
Stress affects the balance of hormones and the neurological pathways. When the body is stressed, stress hormones are released. These hormones interfere with the sync of hormonal balance and neurological pathways needed for your libido to function properly.
You Lose Your Appetite or You Eat So Much
The appetite could be affected in different ways for different people. Some find that they eat more while others lose their appetite. Most of the time though, you’ll find that you eat more. This is because a stress hormone known as glucocorticoid is released. It stimulates appetite, causing you to eat a lot of junk.
Your Concentration and Memory is Affected
Acute stress affects your psychological health causing your cognitive functions to become affected. You will find that you become a lot more forgetful and find it difficult to pay attention. You may also find that you process stuff more slowly and have issues planning and executing.
You Sleep So Much or You Have Trouble Sleeping
According to research, people who have trouble sleeping possess higher stress hormone levels in their bloodstreams.
These hormones reduce the amount of sleep you get and cause interruptions when you do find sleep. When you come awake, you will usually feel too tired to face the day.
You Become Less Social
It’s pretty normal to want to withdraw sometimes and just find peace. However, when this lasts very long or occurs too often, it could be an indication that you’re stressed. Withdrawing socially has several unhealthy effects on the mind and even the body which eventually affects your life.
How you know this is you is that you feel like everything is too much and you want to run away and hide.
You Get Sick Too Often
Stress has a terrible effect on the immune system and the overall health. This is because cortisol is released when we’re stressed short-circuiting the release of DHEA (the immune supporting hormone). This causes the immune system to become weak. So if you find out you come down with a flu too quickly, it could be a sign that you’re heavily stressed.
Simple Things Feel Hard
When you’re stressed, dopamine, is spiked. This causes your cognitive performance to be affected. You will often find that even simple things like laundry, doing the dishes could feel too difficult.
You know how you do stuff and invent new ways of carrying out old tasks? Stress hampers this ability, causing you to get locked into repeating same unproductive thing .
Your Favourite Activities Get Boring
In conditions where you’re stressed, interactions between adrenal glucocorticoid, a stress hormone and serotonin receptors interfere with the brain’s ability to experience pleasure or motivation. When you’re serotonin levels are constantly imbalanced, you could begin to experience depression.
You’ve become less social
People will often want to be alone when they’re stressed. Unfortunately, this does not make stress easy to cope with.
According to research, everyone supports the fact that stress can make you unproductive. However, most people are doing nothing about it. This is most likely because we’ve all given up and thin there’s no point. I can hear you say “we’ll always be stressed” or “it’s a stressful world”. If you realize how much negative effect stress could have on you, you should do something about it.