The textbook definition of stress boils down to “if you’re alive, then you're stressed”. So, if you say you’re not, then you’re either lying or dead.
Everyone experiences stress and responds to stress differently. How you handle it depending on your physical and mental health at the time. What totally stresses you out might not even faze the next guy.
So, how do you know if you have too much stress, or badly managed stress?
If any of the following situations sound familiar, and you experience them frequently, then you may be headed for some serious health problems.
You think you “function just fine” on 5 or 6 hours of sleep
You brain won’t shut off and you toss and turn all night
You get an overwhelming feeling of dread as you wake to face the day
You have frequent obstacle course dreams, treadmill dreams, repetitive dreams or worry dreams
Your shoulders and/or back are in knots, but you think “that’s normal”
Your face is pinched and your jaw is set and your eyes are squinting. Try something. Relax your face and see what happens. See? Ahhhh…
Your head feels like its going to burst open or pop off due to a massive headache or migraine
You can’t poop or you’re pooping all the time
You constantly worry about getting a horrible disease
You feel nauseous and you’re retching in the a.m. – every day, or just sometimes…
It seems you’re always sick, or getting sick, or just getting done being sick
You’re finding a lot of hair in the shower drain
You get zits
Your eyes or lips twitch
You don’t have the energy you used to, and you don’t know why
You break out in hives
Your hands shake. Are they shaking now?
You’re fidgety – tap, tap, tapping or bouncing or jiggling. Stop it!
You bite your nails
Your chest gets tight and it’s hard to breathe
Your throat gets small and it’s hard to swallow
You pick your lip or chew the inside of your cheek
You grind your teeth
You clear your throat a lot (phlegm stress)
You feel lost
You’re gaining weight but you’re not eating more than usual
You’re eating everything that’s not nailed down
You’re eating junk food or fast food
You’re not hungry at all and can’t imagine eating
You’re losing weight because you don’t have the time or energy or desire to eat
You decide your friends are no longer your friends
I love you. I hate you. Leave me alone. Don’t leave me.
You stop being a good friend/mother/wife/husband because you’re too busy
The blame game is the only game in town
You say things like, “I’m sorry I’m taking everything out on you”
You’re late for everything
You BURST OUT crying in the grocery store
You’re hyper-critical of the ones you love the most… and of everyone else
You say really hurtful and inappropriate things
You BURST OUT laughing at a funeral
You can’t stop yelling at your husband or your kids
You want to punch something
You throw a ping pong paddle at your friend while giving them the double bird, screaming “I hate you!”
You find the ice cream in the pantry the day after you unload the groceries
You leave your keys in the car…or the freezer
Simple math is hard math
You’re looking for your glasses and they’re on your head
You think everything would be better if you just have a drink… or 5
You smoke too much pot. Is that possible? Kidding…
You think one more little Valium couldn’t hurt
You don’t smoke but you want a cigarette anyway
You spend $1000 on a feather bed but you can’t pay your rent
You’re convinced you’re going to die a pauper
You’re clumsy – you trip over, run into, drop and spill things
You’re avoiding work or friends or events
You’re go, go, go all the time
Thoughts swirl around your head and you fixate on things
You not only sweat the small stuff but you also… um…sweat
You hide from the world in inappropriate places where you can “just be yourself”
You don’t take care of yourself because you’re too busy
You’re having health issues
You stress about stress
If some of these things sound just a little too much like you, or someone you love, then it's time to take action to reduce the stress.
We all experience short term stress once in a while, things like taking a test or giving a speech or trying something new - things that make your heart pound or your palms sweat. As soon as the event is over, though, the physical signs disappear quickly, usually before resulting in serious health consequences.
Then, there are those guaranteed stressors like losing a job, getting married, having a baby, getting divorced, changing jobs, buying a house…. Again, these are usually manageable in the short term but you should definitely incorporate some stress relieving activities to get you through the rough spots.
The real scary problem is your prolonged or long term stress. The constant daily pressures that you “just live with” can be the path to disease and even sudden death.
Here are 15 Stress Tips that Could Save Your Life. Be sure to consult with your doctor as well.
There are also some really great stress reducing products to help you stay on track. Here are Allegro's 10 Most Popular Stress Relief Products.
Another thing I highly recommend is monitoring your blood pressure at home. It's super easy and takes, like, a minute.
Hey, we care about you, so do the right thing and take care of yourself and the ones you love. Besides being your one-stop shop for medical supplies we can help you find products by medical condition, including stress. See All Stress Management Products.
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