Is stress creeping up on you?
Are you snapping people’s heads off? Tossing and turning when you should be deep asleep? Do you have a cold all the time? Do you have new or worsened allergies? Maybe even a nervous habit? Are you crazy busy and this is just life? Are you biting the head off of every mildly annoying person out there? (Note: They probably don’t deserve it.)
Stress makes you do all sorts of crazy things. When you are caught up in life, work, home, friends, and you are juggling a thousand balls as fast as you can, your mind is really good at pretending it’s all okay. In fact, it’s probably even convinced you that things are fine. Buy your body isn’t so good at hiding it. Stress shows up as acne (Really? I am in my 40s! Not fair!), stomach aches, and anxiety to name a few.
The body’s autonomic nervous system often doesn’t do a great job distinguishing between daily stressors and life-threatening events. If you’re stressed over an argument with a friend, a traffic jam on your commute to work, or a mountain of bills, for example, your body can still react as if you’re facing a life-or-death situation.
When you repeatedly experience the fight or flight stress response in your daily life, it can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, speed up the aging process and leave you vulnerable to a host of mental and emotional problems without you even knowing it.
Some of the most common ways your body tells you that you are stressed are:
- strange and vivid dreams
- screaming muscles (and you didn’t even work out!)
- tight muscles (so tight you can bounce quarters off them!)
- constant sweating
- constant headache
- odd cravings (not just for pregnant people!)
If you are experiencing any of these and they are out of the ordinary, don’t ignore them; look into them. What is your body trying to tell you? Maybe the stress is getting to you and it is time to do something about it.