In our fast-paced world, stress is a normal part of life. Some people actually enjoy or thrive on stress and feel let-down if they don’t have a list of things waiting to be accomplished.
But excessive stress can sneak up on all of us, pushing our stress level into the danger zone without our being aware that it is happening.
Check out these common signs of high stress:
• Pain – Stress can cause different kinds of pain all over your body. If you start having unusual headaches, if your jaw aches from clenching your teeth, or if you have neck pain, back pain or muscle spasms, your body could be reacting to excessive stress.
• Food or digestive issues – Stress can give you an upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. It can also make you turn away from food or turn to food for comfort. If you notice you are suddenly eating more or less than usual, think about whether stress could be the cause.
• Mood changes – If you are stressed you may react by being irritable or hard to please. You may find it harder to control your temper and you may have a hard time relaxing. You may also feel like you are all alone or isolated, which can make you feel unhappy or depressed.
• Nervous habits – Stress can bring out a variety of nervous habits including pacing, nail biting, tapping your feet, or fidgeting. You may find it harder to speak clearly and may start stuttering or stammering. You may also find yourself turning more to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or tobacco to help control how you feel.
• Sleep changes – If you are stressed you may take refuge in sleep and find it harder to wake up or get out of bed. You may find it harder to get to sleep, or find that you are still tired even after sleeping longer than normal.
• Sicknesses – Stress can make it harder for your body to defend itself from normal ailments. So you may find that you are catching colds or the flu more often than you used to. Stress can also affect your heart and may cause chest pain or a rapid or uneven heartbeat.