Everyone gets a little stressed from time to time. It can be a perfectly reasonable and helpful response to a deadline or a problem that needs to be solved. In the short term, it can make you much more active and productive. In the long-term, however, it can lead to severe mental and physical health issues. Heart trouble, sleeplessness, panic attacks, when stress gets serious, it can impact your entire life. So, it’s important to start noticing the signs of severe stress and the dangers it can potentially lead to.
You can’t get a wink of sleep
As mentioned, stress can fuel sleeplessness. It’s hard to relax and start shutting down if your thoughts are keeping you up all night. But there are many ways to tackle stress and to help your body relax before lying down in bed. Exercising an hour prior and physically tiring your body out has been shown to be hugely effective. Meditation can help you get a little mental distance from your problems, as well as slowing your breathing and heart rate to get them just in the right range for sleep. Then apps like Digipill.com can be hugely effective, too, using sound and visual stimulation to help treat stress and put you in a mood where sleep comes more easily.
Irritability is becoming much more common
If the people in your life have been telling you that your temper seems to be flaring up much more than usual, then that could be a sign that your stress is starting to make you much more irritable. Mood swings are far from uncommon and might not be a sign of stress alone, but when you’re constantly amped on adrenaline, you are much more likely to snap at people if they contradict or disagree with you. It could be a sign you need to start treating stress. In the meantime, learn some ways to calm down quickly when you find your temper rising, from taking deep breaths to using a break to better organise your time so you feel less snowed under and pressured.
The stress brain fog spreads
While stress, in the short term, can help you think and act much faster, there’s no denying that it does the exact opposite when it becomes a more long-term problem. The “brain fog” is a common symptom of stress. You might have trouble remembering certain details because your brain is racing too fast, and you might not be able to make decisions quite as well because it feels like the pressure can get to you. Check out Innerdrive.org.uk for different ways to help improve your memory and increase your brain’s processing power if you’re concerned your memory is starting to suffer in the long-term. Until you deal with the stress directly, however, you may never get the results you hope to achieve.
Every bug and cold in the world seems to hit you
Believe it or not, stress can have a wide range of impacts on your physical health, as well. One of the most unexpected is that you might find yourself becoming sick more often than usual. Stress produces cortisol, a hormone that has a wide range of effects throughout the body. One of these effects is that your immune system becomes much more sensitive to this cortisol. So, if there are any bugs like the cold, the body’s immune response becomes much stronger, making you feel a lot sicker. You can use multivitamins from places like Naturesbest.co.uk to support the immune system, with a consultation from your doctor, of course. But stress is going to continue to make your immune system a lot more hyperactive until it’s treated.
Developing unhealthy coping mechanisms
We all self-medicate nowadays. Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, they all have a range of mental and emotional effects that, in moderation, can help us relax. But if we are constantly using mind-altering habits as a way to cope with severe stress, that can become a dependency very quickly. Addiction doesn’t always just happen as a result of “getting hooked” on something. Trauma, crises, and chronic health issues like stress can make it much more common. If you feel like you’re depending on unhealthy coping mechanisms specifically as a response to your stress, you may need to learn more from ArcProject.org.uk. It can be difficult to come face to face with the idea that you might be dependent, but the sooner you recognise and start to fight it, the better it can be for you.
You’re in physical pain
As mentioned, stress manifests in a lot of different ways, physically, too. Besides making you likely to get sicker, it’s also likely to make you feel pain more acutely. Severe stress has direct links to back pain and joint pain, for instance. Cortisol causes the muscles to be much tenser naturally, even when you’re at rest. The friction and pressure this creates and cause back pain. Stress has also been shown to play a large role in causing migraines, as well.