Stress is inevitable. However, it’s not an unkillable monster.
In fact, even before your body becomes overwhelmed by immense chronic stress, it sends warning signals that you should look out for so you don’t fall casualty to a complete meltdown.
Here are 10 warning signs your body sends when you’re super stressed:
- Weight fluctuations
There can be many reasons behind yoyo-ing in the weight department, yet one significant factor is stress. Going through extremely stressful experiences increase your body’s production of cortisol, a hormone responsible for stabilizing metabolism of fats, carbs, and keeping your sugar levels neutralized. If your body has too much of cortisol, you tend to eat more which in turn signals your body to produce lesser testosterone, so your body will burn lesser calories. Hence, the weight gain.
For some people stress affects them the opposite way – they lose weight. This may be because of repeated bursts of adrenaline which speeds up metabolism and slows down fat excretion.
- Skin problems
If you’ve been having recurring skin problems such as psoriasis or acne, you might not have been keeping your stress levels in check. Studies show that there is a direct relationship between intense psychological stress and skin problems.
- Stomach problems
Stress ulcers aren’t called “stress” ulcers for nothing. Studies have proven stress to cause negative effects on your gastrointestinal tract. If you frequently suffer from stomachaches and other GI related problems, it might be because of more psychological than physical causes.
- Recurring colds
Cortisol is also the hormone responsible for suppressing inflammation. However, if you go through chronic stress, your immune system becomes less sensitive to the hormone, resulting in more inflammation, putting you at a higher risk for contracting a cold.
If you get the sniffles often, maybe examine what is causing you intense stress in your life and take concrete steps to eliminate it.
- Difficulty in concentration
If you find yourself struggling to keep your focus or you’re easily distracted, push back and take a break to slow down and get some rest. This may be because of nervous tension.
- Low sex drive
If you haven’t had sex with your partner for a long time because you usually don’t feel like it, it may be time to book a vacation together to shake the stress off.
While headache can be a symptom of a few other problems, it’s also worth seeing as a warning sign that your body is under immense stress. Sure, you can always pop in some Advil to make it go away, but without dealing with the stress as root cause, you’re bound to get headache spells over and over again.
- Hair loss
Finding more loose hair on the floor may be more than just a bad shampoo. Stress may be causing you to lose more hair than normal.
- Sleep problems
This is one of the most common and tell-tale signs of immense stress. If unresolved, this might lead to insomnia. Without proper sleep, you won’t be able to function properly in all aspects of life. It’s extremely important to pinpoint the cause behind your sleepless nights and address it as soon as possible.
- Heart diseases
Scientific studies prove that chronic stress is one of the top causes of heart disease. While you may not be able to change your circumstances immediately, you can change how you respond to them. Knowing how to manage stress probably is essential to keeping your heart healthy longer.
This list has been adapted from this article by BrightSide.
How does your body react to immense stress? Share your story in the comments below!