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5 Subtle Signs You Might be Overstressed

Lifestyle & Fitness • by Ryno Ellis • 08 May 2017

Having to deal with potential stressful situations like replying to emails, traffic jams, grocery shopping and deadlines are inevitable. That’s why it’s crucial to listen to your body to know when you’re overstressed. We share five subtle signs that indicate that you might be stressed.

Stress is a natural and even healthy way to respond to the pressures of life. It forms part of the human’s inherent fight-or-flight response mechanism. However, having to deal with stress 24 hours a day can lead to unfavourable conditions like hypertension, severe headaches or migraines and even an increased risk for heart disease.

That’s why it’s crucial for you to be aware of when you’re overstressed so that you know when to take a break.

Look out for some of these symptoms or habits to know if you’re currently experiencing unhealthy stress levels:

1.) You get sick often and stay sick for longer

If you’ve noticed that you’re constantly catching the office bug or that small cuts and scrapes on your body take longer to heal than normal, then it might be a sign that you’re too stressed out.

When you’re overstressed your body releases higher levels of chemicals called glucocorticoids. These chemicals suppress your body’s immune system which may cause your body to take longer to heal.

2.) You’re more forgetful

Have you ever walked into a room and completely forgotten what you came for? This can be an indication that you’re experiencing acute stress.

Cortisol, the hormone your adrenal gland releases when you’re stressed, can make it tougher to recall stored memories.

3.) Your dreams are stranger than usual

If your dreams have gone from weird and wonderful to wild and wacky, then you might need more zzzs.

People with high stress levels and tension tend to have insomnia which means that they sleep less. Studies have shown that people who are sleep-deprived are more inclined to have wacky and memorable dreams.

Experts are unsure as to why this happens, but one theory suggests that stressed people wake up more often during the night which results in them remembering their dreams more vividly.

4.) Stomach problems

Stress can negatively affect the essential organs that help you survive, including your digestive system. Higher than usual stress levels can either cause you extreme diarrhea or constipation.

Either way, if you suddenly experience a change in your potty patterns and you’re not as ‘regular’ as you used to be, ensure that you check in with your GP.

5.) You have pins-and-needles or an itchy feeling

To deal with any sort of trauma, your skin’s nerve endings release chemical signals to the brain to alarm it that something is seriously wrong. This is part what triggers the ‘flight’ part of the fight-or-flight response.

In extreme cases of stress or anxiety, the same can happen to your body which can cause itchiness or a feeling of pins-and-needles across your skin.

If you’re experiencing any of these stress symptoms, then it’s time to take a good hard look at what’s causing you to stress and how you can better deal with it.

Here are things you can change in your everyday life to better cope with stress:


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