I don’t know how stress affects you but sometimes I feel that, we have become conditioned to living with ongoing stress. We move from one situation to the next barely even noticing the stress that follows us!

How great would it be if our lives were a little less stressful?!

Have a look over the following list of hidden ways stress could be affecting your body.  Are you affected by any of these symptoms?  Once you recognise and notice what is happening, you will be able work on moving away from “chronic stress mode”. 

I call these hidden ways because the symptoms tend yo build up more slowly with chronic stress so the correlation isn’t always obvious. 

We all handle stress a little differently; I like the way WebMD breaks it down into the 4 main types of symptoms to look for. (WebMD’s full list includes way more than 10 symptoms and you can view the whole list here)

Emotional symptoms such as becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody among others.

Physical symptoms ranging from things like low energy, headaches, digestive issues, aches, pains, and tense muscles to frequent colds and ringing in the ear.

Cognitive symptoms such as constant worry, forgetfulness, disorganisation, and the inability to focus. 

Behavioural symptoms ranging from things like nervous behaviours, appetite changes (which could be eating too much or too little), and procrastination to using substances such as alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes to cope.

WebMD goes on to provide this list of the long term consequences of stress stating, “Ongoing, chronic stress, can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:

    1. Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
    2. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and stroke
    3. Obesity and other eating disorders

 

  • Menstrual problems

 

  1. Sexual dysfunction and loss of sexual desire in both men and women
  2. Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
  3. Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon

Stress is a part of life. What matters most is how you handle it. The best thing you can do to prevent stress overload and the health consequences that come with it is to know your stress symptoms.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, “The long-term activation of the stress-response system and the overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that follow can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at an increased risk of many health problems.” Their list overlaps a bit so I’ve only included the new ones to round out our list at 10 health issues. 

 

  • Headaches  
  • Sleep problems
  • Memory and concentration impairment

 

And sadly, this is just the beginning. There are so many other health issues that are connected to stress but who’s got time to read them all in one blog?! So I’ll stop at 10 of the more common ones. 

Keep in mind that awareness is just the first step. Once you recognise if something’s manifesting in your body connected to your stress, then you can use that awareness as a reminder to take steps to reduce your stress levels or at least keep hitting that reset button to get back into healing mode. 

So, reviewing this list, do you see any areas that might be a connection for you? Hopefully not! However, if you do, why not look at booking some valuable ‘me-time’ in to your schedule?!  Do something just for you! Reading a book, coffee with a friend are a couple of ideas that might appeal. Or why not book yourself a treatment? Holistic therapy can help you lower your stress levels and, whilst you are relaxing, we can also look at other ways to cope with the stress of life between sessions. 

Why not feel your stresses and strains melting away on my treatment couch?  Book your relaxing holistic treatment by clicking here.

Here’s to a less stressful 2020