Most people can recognize stress whenever they feel it. It is often characterized by an overwhelming mental state, which causes difficulty in thinking, performing, and even breathing.
Basically, stress is the body’s means of responding to threats or demands. Every time you sense danger, regardless if it is imagined or real, the defenses of your body will kick in, causing an automatic and rapid process called the fight-or-flight or stress response. Your body uses this stress response as a means of protection.
The problem is that there are instances when your stress level gets too high that it starts interfering with your quality of life. It happens when it affects your health, relationships, productivity, and mood, among many other aspects of your life.
It is crucial to know the most common stress symptoms, including the following, so you will know right away when you should take action:
- Mood Swings – It could be that you get irritated more often than usual or you switch from one emotion to another, like sadness, nervousness, frustration, and anger.
- Frequent ailments – If the frequency of your ailments seems to be no longer normal, then it could be that you are fighting stress. Being ill too frequently could mean that your body is no longer fighting infection the best way it can. It can also be that your mental anxiety and stress start hampering the overall function and performance of your body.
- Chronic pain – Yes, you may also suffer from aches and pains with your rising level of stress. A higher level of cortisol, a stress hormone, is even linked to chronic pain.
- Difficulty sleeping – You may start having problems getting enough sleep.
- Changes in your appetite or eating habits – It could be that you start to eat more or less than usual.
- Stomach discomfort – You may experience things like nausea, constipation, diarrhea, or stomach pain. Stress has a negative impact on your stomach as it causes serotonin, a mood-stabilizing hormone, to malfunction.
- Chest pain – This symptom usually happens while at rest. Apart from chest pain, you may also experience increased breathing, dizziness, and a racing heart.
Other common symptoms of stress include excessive sweating, fatigue, muscle tension, constant worry, poor judgment and concentration, racing and anxious thoughts, and pessimism.
Simple Tips in Managing Stress
If you suffer from most symptoms of stress, then you can still rest assured that there are ways to manage it. Among the simplest stress management tips you can do are the following:
- Be physically active since regular physical activities can improve your mood.
- Practice some relaxation techniques – Some options are meditation, massage, tai chi, yoga, and deep breathing.
- Maintain a good sense of humor.
- Improve your social life – This means you should start to spend more time with your loved ones.
- Dedicate some time to your hobbies – It could be as simple as listening to your favorite music or reading a book.
It would be better to stick to active ways of managing stress, instead of inactive ones, like watching TV and just surfing the net. Moreover, you have to start caring for your health. Get enough sleep and follow a balanced and healthy diet. Give up on excessive smoking, alcohol, illegal substances, and caffeine, too. All these can help in dealing with your stress symptoms and finally recovering from this specific condition.