Countless studies show that stress is at actually at the root of most disease. In fact, 77 percent of us regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress (1). We also know that chronic stress increases the risk of stroke by as much as 50 percent. Plus, it raises the risk of heart disease by 40 percent and even ups the risk of heart attack by 25 percent (2).
It further affects your immune system, which makes you susceptible to any number of diseases. And the worst part is that while you may not even realize you are stressed, your body still feels the repercussions.
10 Signs Of Stress
If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be time to take a holiday, go outside or treat yourself to a nice bath and a good book.
1. Chronic Pain
When under constant stress, your body starts to react by breaking down. We often ignore the first signs of pain, covering them up with medications or just working through them.
Over time, however, the pain continues until you can no longer ignore it. It can manifest as stomach issues, diarrhea, ulcers, tense muscles, or even chronic chest pain and heart palpitations. Eventually, your body will simply begin to ache all over, all of the time.
You can develop symptoms of arthritis, migraine headaches or any number of ailments that you can simply no longer ignore. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is not right (3). You need to pay attention to this warning and follow through by reducing your stress whenever possible.
2. Not Sleeping
We all have a bad night’s sleep once in a while but if this becomes the norm, it can be a sure sign that you’re overstressed. And just as not enough sleep can signal stress, so can too much sleep.
While sleeping patterns do change over time, any drastic fluctuation in your sleep is a warning that you need to take seriously (4).
3. Weight Fluctuations
While it is normal for your weight to fluctuate slightly, chronic stress can cause your metabolism to change.
Some people will lose their appetite, or develop stomach issues that impede weight gain, while others will gain weight from stress eating or simply because their cortisol levels skyrocket during stressful times (5).
The bottom line is that your weight is a good indicator of what is happening around you so pay attention to any significant weight changes.
4. Chronic Worrying
Do you feel like your mind is the hamster on the proverbial wheel—running in circles until exhaustion? When work or other outside influences become the cornerstone of your life, you know it’s time to shut it down.
Learn to leave everything behind when you walk out the office door. No amount of worrying will change a situation.
In fact, constantly worrying will only further cloud your mind and make any situation worse, especially when you eventually have to add health issues to the mix.
5. Being Jittery And Anxious
You’ve probably experienced a little anxiety at some point in your life. You’ve also probably felt like you simply can’t sit still at one time or another, especially before a big presentation or important interview. That’s normal.
But if you find this anxiousness is growing to the point you feel jittery all of the time, or that you need to be constantly on the move, it’s probably safe to say it’s time to pull in the reigns and take some time to chill out.
Your mind can be your worst enemy in times of stress. Stress can trigger a whole slew of emotions you may not have even known you had.
If you find you are more emotional and anxious than normal, stress is probably at the cause (7).