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We hear about it all of the time, but what exactly is stress? And what are the classic signs?
The definition of stress from Merriam-Webster.com is:
“A physical, chemical or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.”
We all experience anxiety and tension throughout our lives. Some intense and some mild. But it is always a factor in how we live each day. Unfortunately, too many people simply do not recognize the signs of stress and how it is compromising their quality of life.
Too many of us suffer from what is called chronic stress. Chronic stress is the result of periods of extended tension with either internal or external causes. A 2014 American Institute of Stress survey indicates that it is such a problem that 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms of stress. And without adequate management of the tension and anxiety, most people at some point in their lives will experience health complications.
Ultimately, stress is change. And it can be any type of change in your life. From a change in diet and exercise to job loss or promotion. Marriage, separation, divorce, a new baby, a parking ticket, death of a loved one. Losing your car keys, arguing with a spouse or child, getting a new car, moving, buying a house. Anything that brings about change will create tension. Too much tension can cause you to become overloaded and overwhelmed.
As you become overloaded and overwhelmed, you may begin to start having physical, emotional, or behavioral symptoms.
Some of the physical symptoms you can experience are:
Aching pain that occurs anywhere throughout the body, either continuously or frequently
This would include issues such as headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel, neck and shoulder pain.
This includes heart issues such as high blood pressure, chest pain, palpitations, heart disease, and a racing heartbeat
Including frequent upset stomach, heartburn, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, excessive gas (belching and flatulence)
This includes insomnia, sleeping too much, restless sleep, and waking up frequently throughout the night.
These would be issues such as boils, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, hives, and itching.
This would include experiencing frequent colds and flu, and unexplained allergy attacks.
Loss of sex drive, poor sexual performance
Other symptoms that don’t fit into the above categories”
- Jaw tension: clenching or grinding the teeth
- Muscle tremors and tremblinf of the lips and hands
- Dizziness, light-headed, fainting
- Buzzin, ringing, or popping sounds in the ears
- Cold or sweaty hands or feet
- Dry mouth or difficulty swallowing
The good news is that you can manage the symptoms of chronic stress. Making dietary changes, and getting plenty of rest can help. So can practicing some stress management techniques which can get you back on the road to feeling better. Stay tuned for plenty of stress management tips and tricks to help you combat stress in your life!