7 Warning Signals That You Are Overstressed
Gauri found herself feeling sleepy in the afternoons at work. Frequent muscle cramps, sudden hair loss, and irregular periods left her concerned about her health and she headed for a medical check-up. Her reports revealed that she was suffering from thyroid problems. This came as a surprise to her as Gauri always tried her best to eat healthy and exercise.
Gauri’s real issue was that she was overstressed. Like Gauri, many of us have to pack a hectic routine into a mere 24 hours in a day. Infact, stress seems like a normal part of modern life. However, nothing could be more harmful for you. Chronic stress is known to cause many health complications including thyroid problems, heart disease, diabetes, and digestive complications. Stress is also a known cause of hair loss.
The good news is that stress is a condition that is very much controllable. The first step is recognising the warning signs that your body is headed for a burnout. Here are 7 warning signals that your body is overstressed.
- Sudden headaches
Do you find yourself experiencing sudden headaches at night? This might be a sign that you are overworked. Chronic stress often leaves you with painful headaches that can sometimes render you incapacitated to work. Any recurrent headaches should be taken seriously and treated immediately. Severe headaches that are left untreated for long periods of time can actually lead to a life-threatening stroke.
- Frequent acne breakouts
Frequent breakouts on your face or body could be an indication of thyroid problems and a hormonal imbalance. However, acne is also a sign of your body being overworked. Acne usually goes away on its own, however, if your breakouts are persistent or increasing, do get medical help. Untreated acne can leave you with unsightly scars.
- Bouts of memory loss
Do you often find yourself at a loss for words or misplacing things? Chronic stress is known to cause sudden memory loss and a feeling of a blankness in the mind. For instance, you may forget words you spoke 5 minutes ago or even find it difficult to name certain daily objects. The stress hormone cortisol affects the hippocampus which is the part of your brain that handles short term memory.
- A weakened immunity
Stress hormones are known to stimulate the release of blood proteins that cause allergies and weaken the immune system. If you find yourself falling ill with fever or a sore throat each time the weather changes, it is a clear indication that you are overstressed. Chronic stress also causes rashes and breakouts such as psoriasis and lichen planus.
- Heightened cravings and addictions
Stress is known to increase addictions and cravings. This explains why people working in highly stressful jobs or environments often depend on coffee or cigarettes to get through the day. Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are addictions that are easy to develop and hard to lose. The same applies logic applies to sudden cravings for sugary foods. Your hormones are not at fault; it is the stress.
- Increased hair loss
Stress is a known cause of hair loss. If you find your hair loss has increased way more than before, you might be subconsciously stressed daily. Do be alert if you find strands of hair on your pillow or shirt or if sudden bald patches begin to appear. Get yourself checked immediately for once baldness sets in, it takes a very long time to get treated and sometimes can be irreversible.
- Disturbed sleep pattern
If you find yourself experiencing nightmares and having a disturbed sleep, you might be under heavy stress. When the mid is not at ease, the sleep cycle gets disturbed. Even if you attempt to sleep a full eight hours a night, you might still find yourself waking up at odd hours or unexpectedly breaking out into night sweats.
Tips for stress control
- Make sure you sleep at least 7 to 8 hours at night.
- Take the time to practice yoga or meditation. They help provide the mind much needed rest and time to recover.
- Switch off your phone at bedtime and keep it on silent during meals.
- Reduce your intake of caffeine, nicotine, and sugary foods as these increase your chances of getting hyperactive.
- Remove the television from your bedroom for a good night’s sleep.
- Avoid thinking about your worries at night. Studies show that about problems at night often results in no solutions and leave you feeling hopeless. Save it for the day as psychologically daytime has a positive impact on the brain.
- Remember, stress is not a solution. Delegate a ‘stress-free hour’ each day. During this one hour, you must not allow yourself to think anything stressful or worry about on-going problems.