God promises rest to those who are weary and burdened, renewed strength to carry onwards, and wisdom and guidance to those who ask. Often times, though, we find ourselves so busy with worldly affairs that we fail to even realize we are under stress. Whether you’re mentally worrying or physically under pressure, stress takes a toll on our physical bodies as well as our spiritual well-being. It can come from many areas in our lives – the workplace, our relationships with the people in our lives, others’ troubles, financial concerns, family, household, etc.
When something in our environment changes, our bodies react and try to adapt or adjust to it. So, stress is a normal part of our lives, since things around us are in constant flux. However, there are good forms and bad forms of stress, depending on the mental, emotional and physical responses of our bodies to the external environment. A good amount of stress helps us be productive, but what is of concern is that we are not always aware when we’re overstressed, because its physical manifestations in our bodies are not always obvious. There are some signs which signal that the body might need some physical and mental rest. Here are 8 signs that you’re overstressed and don’t know it:
Your sleep pattern is erratic
Sleep is one of the first things that get affected when you are overstressed. It can cause you to either sleep too much or not let you get enough sleep. You might experience insomnia and even disturbing dreams. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help with sleep problems, but it will never really go away until the root problem is addressed. A stressful mental state affects our subconscious mind, causing fitful sleep.
You have become very impatient
Another early sign of overstress is an ever decreasing level of patience and tolerance for other, especially those near and dear to us. Our closest friends and family bear the brunt of our outbursts when we are under stress. If you find that you are getting easily annoyed and distressed by people around you, it could be that there is something else that is bothering you and causing you to stress out.
When we lose patience with something or someone too easily it’s usually because there’s another thing that is preoccupying our minds. Slow down and figure out what is troubling you – that is the best way forward to de-stressing and being in harmony with those around you again.
You can’t stop worrying
A definite sign of stress is when you find yourself constantly thinking about work, things to do and get done, and problems that need solving. Worry, worry, worry! Excessive worrying can cause both psychological as well as physical problems. Constantly checking your phone for texts, emails and updates is not a healthy habit. In fact, it shows that your mind is continually stressing about something or the other. If you don’t slow down and learn to let go of the worry, it could lead to fatigue.
You are restless
Always needing to be doing something or keeping busy is a big sign of stress. When you can’t sit still to enjoy some peace and quiet, or go for a walk by yourself, or read a book, it means that you are highly anxious. Anxiety and stress go hand in hand. When your mind is constantly troubled by something or the other, the emotional and psychological imbalance can cause you to be overstressed, leading to physical problems. If you find yourself being too restless, you should try and figure out why it is happening and sort it out before the anxiety and nervousness can cause more serious injury to your physical and mental health.
You have severe mood swings
Stress affects our mental state and hormones, so when we are overstressed, it can lead to severe swings in our mood and temperament. You could find yourself perfectly fine and happy one minute and then quite suddenly, with very little provocation, angry or depressed and crying the next. Moreover, if you’re already suffering from anxiety, the mood swings can be quite frequent. It will help to seek trusted people and talk to them about what is troubling you. Keeping it inside and suffering alone does not help. It will only lead to you alienating people in your life, which is another harmful effect of stress. Overstressing can also make certain mental health conditions worse, like addictions, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders.
You have weight gain or loss
Stress can cause your metabolism to slow down, which means you can gain weight even though you haven’t really been eating any more than you usually do. However, stress can also affect your appetite as your anxiety may be causing you to worry about something all the time, distracting you from eating properly. This could lead to weight loss if your stress is not addressed in time. You could also be overeating, especially on sweets, as your body tries to compensate for the energy drain caused by the stress. This up and down of your body’s response to the stress, resulting in weight fluctuations, can severely affect your health.
You have hair loss
On average, studies show that a person loses about 100 strands of hair in a day. This goes mostly unnoticed because it’s such a normal thing. Severe stress can cause the body to react in a way that results in a significantly higher number of hair follicles to go into their resting phase which later results in an abnormally high quantity of hair being shed at the same time. Significant hair loss is a sign that your body is experiencing heavy physiological stress.
You’re experiencing bodily pain
Under extreme stress, your body will finally start to give up and you will experience fatigue. You may start experiencing unexplained diarrhea, muscle pain, heart palpitations, joint pain and even headaches. If aches persist and you know that there is no physiological harm that is causing them, then you’re probably under a lot of stress and need to take a step back and address the underlying issues before more harm is done.
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