We may feel overworked, overwhelmed, have financial problems, are anxious about our children, and are worried about our physical health. These signs that we feel under pressure are obvious. We may understand that stress is at the root of our low energy and irritability. There are times however, that our bodies are also sending subtle signals of being stressed which we may not recognize.
Physical manifestations of stress
If we do not heed these warning signs, we may not take steps to deal with these symptoms through methods such as mindfulness, exercise, or relaxation. Continued stress can lead to serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, depression and other dangerous health conditions. Here are some of the common warning signs.
Teeth grinding, which usually occurs during sleep, can become worse when we feel pressured. The grinding can cause sore jaws. A night-time mouth guard from a dentist can reduce or stop teeth grinding. Stress can also cause bleeding gums. People who feel pressured are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease and should brush their teeth more often.
Stress increases the skin inflammation that can lead to adult acne and breakouts. A lotion with benzoyl peroxide to treat bacteria and salicylic acid to slough off problem skin can help. If the treatment does not work after a few weeks, a doctor may suggest more potent medications. People with chronic itchy skin are twice as likely to be stressed. Their bodies respond to anxiety and tension by activating the nerve fibers that cause itching.
Stress can increase the severity of allergy symptoms and make them worse than normal.
Increased sugar cravings
Researchers have found that when cravings hit, stress is a more likely trigger than female hormones.
Anxiety and feeling pressured can cause stomach aches, backaches, and headaches. People who feel tense are three times more likely to experience abdominal pain. De-stressing over a weekend can also bring on migraines.
Stress interferes with sleep and can cause insomnia. When we are stressed, it is hard for our minds to turn off recurring thoughts. As we sleep, our dreams usually become more positive during the night and we wake up in better mood than when we went to bed. When we feel pressured, however, we may wake up several times in the night and our dreams continue to be unpleasant. Avoiding alcohol and caffeine and maintaining a regular sleep schedule of seven to eight hours a night can help counteract this condition.
For women, painful menstrual cramps
Many stressed-out women are twice as likely to have painful period cramps compared to those who are not. This may be caused by an imbalance of hormones. A workout at the gym can decrease sympathetic nervous symptom activity, calm anxieties, and soothe cramps.
Ways to de-stress
If we experience any of these symptoms, we need to take a time out. We can turn off the phone, go for a walk, or do something relaxing. Other triggers can be minimized by maintaining a weekday eating and sleeping schedule. If we experience any of these symptoms, we need to take a time out. We can turn off the phone, go for a walk, or do something relaxing. Other triggers can be minimized by maintaining a weekday eating and sleeping schedule.
Seek medical attention, if needed
Conditions such as constant bellyaches can also have other causes such as irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, an ulcer, or food allergies. Other physical conditions or diseases should be ruled out by a medical doctor before we explore ways to de-stress our lives.