Stress is often cited as one of the main reasons people pick up unhealthy habits. Every single thought that we have in our minds manifests itself somewhere in the body as well, so it’s easy to understand why stress hormones have such a negative impact on our health.
There are both good and bad types of stress. Good stress is what we feel when we’re excited. Like when we’re on a giant roller coaster about to careen toward the ground at 100 miles per hour, or when we find ourselves falling in love on a first date.
Bad stress happens when a person is consistently presented with obstacles or challenges with little or no relief from one challenge to the next. It leaves us feeling overworked and weighted down by the tension that builds.
You could be over-stressed and not even know it. When we operate in this state of cognition, many symptoms of stress will hide from us.
So, here are five ways to tell if you’re stressed out more than you should be:
Your ache all over
Pain is often something that humans can endure without end as long as it’s bearable. When we’re in a state of high stress, the body will start to lose its normal state of function.
This leads to symptoms like diarrhea, ulcers, chest pains, tight muscles and palpitations. Little problems suddenly become big problems.
Do your best not to ignore these problems. They’re there because they need to be addressed. Accept that you might have to change certain aspects of your life to rid yourself of this chronic ailment.
You struggle to get a good night’s rest
If your sleep pattern changes regularly, or you’re exhausted and sleeping too much, or if you’re not sleeping enough because of insomnia, you’re probably over-stressed.
Sleep is one of the main areas that stress affects the most. Stress keeps a mind from being at peace, so the best way to fight unruly sleep patterns is with exercise, meditation and a healthy diet.
You’re constantly thinking about life problems
Okay, we’re all sort of thinking about major life problems all the time a little bit, but if you can’t take even just a few minutes to think about something other than things like your career or financial problems, it’s safe to say stress has control over you.
The best thing you can realize is that worrying about your problems just wastes energy and time. If you keep your inner dialogue running 24/7 on a loop of anxiety, you’re bound to cause physiological problems.
Give yourself time alone, in silence or relaxation, with no phone, computer or technology. You need to decompress.
You’re suddenly losing your hair
Founder and medical director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, Carolyn Jacob, MD, tells us that the average person will lose 100 hairs every day, and that anything more than that is a problem:
“Typically, people shed about 100 hairs a day. Most people don’t even notice. Sometimes, a significant stress of sort may spark a change in your body’s routine physiological functions, and cause a disproportionate number of hairs to go into the resting phase at the same time.
Then three to four months later, sometimes longer, all those resting hairs are shed. The effect can be alarming. The types of events that disrupt the normal hair cycle can be caused by the substantial physiological stresses on your body.”
So, if you have sudden and dramatic hair loss, there’s a good chance that your stress is causing physiological changes to your body.
Your sex drive has slowed down
Because admitting that our sex drive is suffering is something we absolutely never want to do, most people will never address this issue. We don’t want to admit it to ourselves and we sure as hell don’t want to admit it to our partners.
Stress hormones cause the body to feel exhausted, which is no good when it comes to physical intimacy.
If you’ve lost your libido, it’s time to get it back. Don’t be afraid to tell your partner what’s happening. Once everything is out in the open, all of that stressful weight holding you down will be lifted.
Be open to trying to new methods of stress management and find ways to put your mind at ease.
Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives