Living a life free from stress is impossible. Stress is common, and in some instances, good for you. As it is your body’s natural response to outside pressures, sometimes stress is needed to help you push yourself to accomplish things. That being said, too much stress (like too much of most things) just isn’t good for the mind or the body.
Signs of Too Much Stress
So, if some stress can be a good thing, how do you know when you’re dealing with too much stress? Though everyone is different and some can even thrive under high levels of pressure, there are some clear signs that you’re dealing with too much stress.
- Headaches or body aches – If you start to notice that you’re getting more tension headaches or unexplainable body aches on a regular basis, stress could be the culprit.
- Increased Illness – While getting sick sometimes is to be expected, if you’ve started getting the cold, flu, or other illnesses repeatedly or more than you’re used to, this could be a sign you’re dealing with too much stress as stress negatively impacts your immune system.
- Sleep Deprivation – Do you find yourself up tossing and turning more than usual? You are dealing with way too much stress.
- Appetite Issues – There are some people who get so stressed out that they eat any and everything they can get their hands on. Others, however, get stressed and stop eating altogether. Either outcome is bad for your health and needs to be dealt with accordingly.
- Cognitive Issues – Are you having trouble thinking? Can’t seem to focus on one thing or another? Experiencing forgetfulness or brain fog? The increased and prolonged levels of cortisol could be to blame.
- Self-Medicating – For those that come home after work or at the end of the day and turn to drugs or alcohol to try and calm their nerves, they’re dealing with way too much stress. You may need to check into a Newport Beach rehab for women and/or men to treat substance abuse or addiction.
Simple Solutions to Reduce Stress
If you believe you could be under too much stress it is important to act before things get worse. Below are a few simple solutions that can help you to keep stress at bay:
- Ditch Nicotine and Caffeine – Both nicotine and caffeine are stimulants that increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of stress. Try to eliminate these altogether or at the very least cut back.
- Exercise – Adding exercise to your daily routine can help you to reduce stress. Regular physical activity helps to boost the feel-good hormones like dopamine and lower cortisol levels which reduce stress.
- Relaxation Techniques – When you feel yourself getting stressed out, try some relaxation techniques to calm the mind. You can sit for a few minutes and meditate, go for a walk outdoors, read a good book, take a bath, get a massage, or even take a nap.
- Time Management – You may not want to hear it, but a hectic lifestyle with no organization can stress you out. Take a look at your daily activities and prioritize them in order of importance. Eliminate unnecessary or draining activities and then develop a schedule that allows you to maximize your time without burning out.
- Ask for Help – Relying on others may not be your thing, but if your lifestyle requires you to do more than a single person can, you need the assistance of others. Ask relatives to help with your children to lighten your load as an overloaded parent. If the stress stems from work, talk to your employer about streamlining processes or delegating tasks to coworkers to reduce your stress levels.
- Sleep – Sleeping allows your body to replenish itself. Create a bedtime schedule that allows you to effectively wind down and get to bed at a decent hour so you can rest for at least 7-9 hours each day.
Stress is a fact of life. It can be the driving force for many great things when experienced in small doses. However, when experienced on a regular basis or at high levels for a prolonged period of time, stress can kill. Therefore, it is necessary for you to start incorporating tips such as those provided above to reduce the stress in your life.