Today we are tackling the heavy stuff: stress. To put things clearly: here I’m going to talk to you about chronic stress, you know, this friend who settles permanently in your head to rot your daily life.
Acute stress, the one we have before a date, an exam, a speech, an important announcement… that’s good stress! Ah, the dry throat before an oral, little diarrhea before writing, the throbbing that gets carried away for a kiss … I would almost miss it!
So let’s get back to our nasty chronic stress. Here are the 10 signs that show you are too stressed. If you recognize yourself briefly in places, don’t panic, it happens. If, on the other hand, it is your entire portrait that I paint before your eyes, you will have to think about doing something.
1- Muscle tension
When you are stressed, your body tries to “react” to this external threat that it perceives. Your muscles, therefore, send a warning signal, in particular via the adrenaline rushes which have the effect of contracting your muscles excessively, to solicit them for no valid reason.
The pain can be continuous as well as appear in sharp peaks, it depends on the people. The neck, back, and shoulders are the first to be affected.
2- omnipresent fatigue
Stress is a particularly trying test for the body which will have to constantly struggle to push it back. To put it simply, he will not have time to recharge his batteries and your usual pace of life will seem unbearable.
So when you’re stressed, it’s common to be exhausted at the end of the day, both physically and mentally. If your stress is work-related, a temporary disconnection is strongly recommended to avoid burnout.
3- sleep disorders
Difficult to sleep when you are exhausted and only dreaming of your bed, surprising isn’t it? To tell the truth, not so much. The main wave of restful sleep is directly attacked by cortisol, a hormone secreted by stress.
So if you have trouble sleeping, especially in the second part of the night, no need to look any further.
4- Eating and digestion disorders
As a result of trauma, loss of appetite in the face of stress embodies your body’s refusal to cooperate, to accept a situation that hurts it. He is on a hunger strike.
Digestion level is not better: feelings of bloating, constipation… these effects are however easily erased if you ingest a lot of fiber, drink a maximum (water, I specify) and practice a little sport every day.
5- Heart problems
Stress increases your blood pressure, sometimes hypertension. The risk of vascular accidents is then increased tenfold. Cholesterol is also affected: LDL, called bad cholesterol, increases while good (HDL) tends to decrease, due to a modification of lipids (structures formed by lipids during their assembly).
6- Decreases in your cognitive faculties
Repeated stress leads to inflammation of the brain, more particularly of the hippocampus, which is directly responsible for memory.
In addition, it obsesses your brain, making you less attentive to the outside world: you lose concentration, make frequent mistakes in your work, and redouble your clumsiness.
In general, you are less productive and efficient since your brain is never entirely devoted to what you are doing.
7- Irritability, anger and frequent mood swings
No luck, this same hippocampus is also responsible for part of the “emotions” function of the brain. Irritating it therefore causes a certain emotional instability in you. Any emotion seems straight out of an action movie or romantic comedy!
The transition from laughter to tears is therefore quite common, as are outbursts of anger and nervousness of all kinds. Both hypersensitive and execrable, you are a real little gift for those around you.
8- Appearance or development of addictive behaviors
It is a fairly reliable indicator and easily observable in any user of addictive substances. Tobacco, alcohol but also junk food and gambling in particular.
The process is as follows: your brain, aware of its state of ill-being, seeks to escape, to please you. You isolate yourself in something that you assimilate to well-being by considerably increasing its consumption. Be careful!
9- Decreased libido
Your brain no longer allows itself these moments of pleasure, this little excitement of life. The libido feeds on our fantasies. However, we only allow ourselves to have it when we feel safe and peaceful.
To put it simply, it’s a bit like Maslow’s pyramid, each rung of which is climbed when the previous one is acquired. If your skull is obsessed with major issues, it will never take the next step and you will get stuck on your stress.
10- Loss of joy of living
Unfortunately for you, I saved the worst for last (although libido was a serious contender). Stress accumulated over the long term can lead to something even more harmful: depression.
Its beginnings are withdrawal into oneself, the loss of the joy of living. Waking up is more and more difficult and making you laugh becomes a real challenge.
In conclusion, the symptoms are of all types: physical, psychological, and cognitive. The downside is that most of these symptoms influence each other, which makes it difficult to recover. If you find yourself scared in all of these points, the first thing you should do is identify the source of your stress.
Work, family, health, money?
In general, no need to look very far, with these 4 areas we quickly get around the stressful agents. In any case, do not give up and force yourself to react, it is little by little that we go up the slope.