It could be because of your boss, morning routine, or problems with friends or family. A little stress on a daily basis is normal, but if it becomes too much it can have negative consequences for your health. If you recognize the signs that you are under too much stress, you can do something about it before it affects your health.
You can be under too much stress without realizing it. You may think it's due to an illness, but stress can cause problems in your organs and systems . Depending on how you handle stress, you may experience symptoms that affect everything from your hormones to your heart and more. Some physical signs that you are under too much stress are:
- Pain or tension in your head, chest, stomach, or muscles. Your muscles tighten when you are stressed and that can lead to headaches, migraines or muscle problems.
- Digestive Problems . This can include diarrhea, constipation, nausea and vomiting. Stress can affect how quickly food passes through your system and how your intestines absorb nutrients.
- Reproductive problems. Stress can cause changes in your libido, problems with irregular or painful periods in women, or impotence and problems with sperm production in men. Whether you're a man or a woman, you may also feel less sexual desire if you're under too much stress.
- Changes in your heart rate and blood pressure . When you're overwhelmed with stress, your body goes into "fight-or-flight" mode, which causes your adrenal glands to release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. This can make your heart beat faster and raise your blood pressure. This usually happens with a short-lived stressor and the effects wear off once it passes. But if you have episodes of this type of acute stress too often, it can cause inflammation in your arteries, which can contribute to heart attacks.
Mental and emotional signals
Stress can also affect how you think and feel , making it difficult to fulfill your normal responsibilities and make rational decisions. In some cases, this stress can also affect your behavior , and some people may turn to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or other harmful substances to cope with their feelings. Excessive stress can also affect your appetite, causing you to eat more or less than usual. It can also affect your motivation to exercise and stay fit. Finally, the feelings you have when you are stressed can make you feel withdrawn from friends and family and isolating yourself.
When you're too stressed, you may experience certain psychological and emotional symptoms , such as:
• Depression or anxiety
• Anger, irritability or restlessness
• Feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated or out of focus
• Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
• Constantly worrying and not being able to stop your thoughts
• Problems with your memory or concentration
• Making bad decisions
When is the best time to seek help
If you have trouble coping with stress and don't know what to do, it may be wise to seek help from a specialist. Your doctor is a good starting point. They can help you determine whether the symptoms you are experiencing are due to a medical condition or an anxiety disorder . They can also refer you to a mental health professional and provide you with additional tools and resources. Some signs you need help:
• Your performance at work or school suffers
• You use alcohol, drugs or tobacco to cope with stress
• Your eating or sleeping habits change significantly
• You behave in ways that are dangerous to yourself, including self-mutilation
• You have irrational fears and anxiety
• You have difficulty performing your daily responsibilities. • You withdraw from friends and family
• You are thinking about suicide or harming other people
Pharmacist Dirk Christiaen
Founder of Metis Supplements