Youre Perpetually Sick And Just Cant Seem To Get Over It
If it seems like every week youve got a cough, sore throat or a fever, you might want to blame your workload and not just your sneezing coworker. When we are under extreme pressure, our bodies secrete a stress hormone called cortisol that can help us short-term, says Richard Colgan, MD, professor of family and community medicine at University of Maryland School of Medicine and author of Advice to the Healer. But if youre stressed out constantly, these hormones arent as helpful and can become depleted over time. Colgan says cortisol and other hormones are components of the immune system that help the body cope with stress. But when these hormones are withdrawn, we become more susceptible to sickness.
And the side effects dont end there. Stress can also slow wound healing, contribute to the reactivation of latent viruses and increase vulnerability to viral infections, says Keri Tuit, clinical psychologist at Yale University.
What to do: Listen to your body when you feel tired or drained. Make time for rest and extra sleep. Whether you recently spent time traveling or finalizing a huge work project, allow your body the time it needs to recover.
A tired body is not well prepared to cope with stressful situations and ward off illness.
Appetite Changes And Weight Gain
Changes in appetite are common during times of stress.
When you feel stressed out, you may find yourself with no appetite at all or overeating without noticing.
One small 2006 study of 272 female college students found that 81 percent reported that they experienced changes in appetite when they were stressed out, with 62 percent stating they had an increase in appetite .
Changes in appetite may also cause fluctuations in weight during stressful periods. For example, a study involving 1,355 people in the United States found that stress was associated with weight gain in adults already living with extra weight .
A third study from 2017 found that individuals with higher cortisol and insulin levels and higher levels of chronic stress were more likely to gain weight in the future . However, the study was limited in the scope of research in that participants were predominantly white females.
While these studies show an association between stress and changes in appetite or weight, more studies are needed to understand other possible factors are involved and how stress impacts different people.
Are You Prepared For The Answer
Everyone says theyre stressed these days, but not everyone could possibly mean the same thing by it. For some people, stressed means mildly irritated by a busier than average day. For others, it means I am millimeters from mental and physical collapse.
Stress also affects different people differently. What counts as adrenaline-pumping exhilaration for one person feels like debilitating, nerve-destroying torture to another.
So when you say Im stressedexactly how stressed do you mean? Should you worry or understand this is just another hectic day in the modern world? Now you have an objective way to tell just how stressed you are when you say Im stressed.
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Ok So How Can I Tell If I Am Stressed
If you suspect you might be stressed or if you have been told by others that you are stressed, dont ignore it. Take our simple test below to ascertain whether you are stressed or not.
Simply go through the list below and tick, honestly, each bullet point that applies to you.
- You feel less eager to go to work after the weekend
- You are less patient with others
- You often are moody
- Your blood pressure is higher
- You have lost a lot of weight
- You have gained a lot of weight
If you have ticked less than 4, you might just be exhausted rather than stressed.
If you have ticked more than 4, theres a high chance you are stressed.
Now that you know if you are likely to be stressed or not, lets try and find out how much stress youre under.
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Job Loss And Unemployment Stress
Losing a job is one of lifes most stressful experiences. Its normal to feel angry, hurt, or depressed, grieve for all that youve lost, or feel anxious about what the future holds. Job loss and unemployment involves a lot of change all at once, which can rock your sense of purpose and self-esteem. While the stress can seem overwhelming, there are many steps you can take to come out of this difficult period stronger, more resilient, and with a renewed sense of purpose.
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Stress And Your Health
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous.
Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.
Kitty Follows You Everywhere
Just like dogs, cats can develop separation anxiety. If your cat doesnt want to let you out of its sight, and begins to follow you everywhere, anxiety might be behind this behavior. Some cats become more attached to their owners when they are anxious, Princeton Veterinary Hospital explained. This can be endearing behavior, and often makes us feel loved by our cats, but it could be a sign that she is stressed or anxious.
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How Is Stress Diagnosed
Stress is subjective not measurable with tests. Only the person experiencing it can determine whether it’s present and how severe it feels. A healthcare provider may use questionnaires to understand your stress and how it affects your life.
If you have chronic stress, your healthcare provider can evaluate symptoms that result from stress. For example, high blood pressure can be diagnosed and treated.
Signs You Might Be Too Stressed
Everyone gets stressed from time to time, but when is it time to speak to a doctor about it?
While experts say that a little stress is OK it can actually be beneficial in some situations chronic stress can be bad for both your mental and physical health.
As today marks the start of International Stress Awareness Week, we asked experts to share the signs that you might want to get the issue checked out with your GP.
1. Youre always in a bad mood
Constantly find yourself snapping at your other half? When youre stressed, your body releases stress hormones including cortisol, says Pablo Vandenabeele, clinical director for mental health at Bupa.
These hormones can affect your mood and energy levels. As a result, you may feel more irritable or worried than usual, or you might find that you struggle to concentrate or make decisions.
2. Youre not sleeping properly
Stress can disrupt normal sleeping patterns in different ways, says Vandenabeele.
Some find theyre constantly tired and want to sleep as much as possible, while others struggle to fall asleep and wake up during the night thinking about the things that are causing them stress.
If you notice your sleep has changed, it might be a sign to book a doctors appointment.
3. Changes to your sex drive
As Earim Chaudry, medical director at mens wellness platform, Manual explains: Stress can have some serious adverse effects on both your happiness and your libido.
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How To Handle Stress
The first step in handling stress is to decide youre not just going to deal with or tough through it. Its important to recognize when youre stressed. Stress indicates a boundary or limit in your physical or mental/emotional abilities that will negatively impact your overall wellness if continually breached. Admitting and seeking out answers and solutions to stress will help you overcome it far more than ignoring it. A few ways to manage your stress include:
- Maintaining a healthy diet and taking supplements if needed
- Drinking lots of water
- Meditating, doing yoga and/or breathing exercises
- Journaling, reading or doing other calming, self-aware and self-care practices
- Reaching out to others for assistance
Finally, if you are having difficulty managing your stress level, talk to your primary care physician. He or she can help you find healthy and body-positive solutions that will empower you to enforce boundaries with stress in your life and help you face all of lifes challenges with a mindset of self-awareness. At Community Access Network, we can and desire to help you navigate lifes daily struggles and your personal wellness. Contact us today!
Is It Stress Or Anxiety
Life can be stressfulyou may feel stressed about performance at school, traumatic events , or a life change. Everyone feels stress from time to time.
What is stress? Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of homework or having an illness. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time.
What is anxiety? Anxiety is your body’s reaction to stress and can occur even if there is no current threat.
If that anxiety doesnt go away and begins to interfere with your life, it could affect your health. You could experience problems with sleeping, or with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. You also may be at higher risk for developing a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression. Read more about anxiety disorders.
So, how do you know when to seek help?
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How Does Stress Affect Our Bodies
Stress can have a negative effect on our health because our bodies react to stressful situations physically as well as mentally.
Physical symptoms can include headaches, muscle pain, sleep problems, dizziness, feeling tired all the time or eating too much or too little.
When we feel stressed, our bodies release the stress hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol plays an important role in the body as it stimulates the liver to increase blood sugar production. This gives your body a burst of energy when you feel stressed to help you cope with the situation at hand.
When we feel stressed for a long period of time, we’re stuck in a permanent state of fight-or-flight and this can lead to feelings of anxiety. You’re left feeling on edge all the time.
You may also notice that your behaviour changes you feel overwhelmed, irritable, anxious and lacking in self-esteem. Your thoughts race and you find it hard to concentrate or make decisions.
Read more about the symptoms of stress on the NHS website.
Helping Children And Youth Cope With Stress
Children and youth often struggle with how to cope with stress. Youth can be particularly overwhelmed when their stress is connected to a traumatic eventlike a natural disaster, family loss, school shootings, or community violence. Parents, caregivers, and educators can take steps to provide stability and support that help young people feel better.
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You Have Trouble Sleeping
Maybe you have trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep. Or maybe the quality of your sleep doesnt leave you feeling refreshed and energized. When your stressed, your body isnt able to get into that deep, relaxed state you need to feel completely rested.
What to do about it: Aside from trying a guided meditation, practice deep breathing exercises before you fall asleep or journaling. When youve got a lot of stress, you might not have a constructive way to release it all. Writing it all down can help release it and give you some clarity around your issues.
Approach Your Boss With Solutions:
Be proactive! If it doesnt seem like anyone will do anything about your concerns, talk to them again. This time bring a possible solution instead of complaining.
Also, make sure that you are ready to follow through with whatever new tasks your boss assigns you.
Finally, it might be a good idea to write everything down, so you can come back to this plan and check on how its going.
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You Enjoy Your Favorite Activities Less And Less
Why: During high-stress situations, interactions between a stress hormone called adrenal glucocorticoid and serotonin receptors in the brain interfere with our ability to experience pleasure and remain motivated. Serotonin levels that are consistently off-balance produce the brain chemistry that leads to depressionmake sure to know the warning signs.
Importance Of Recognizing Stress Symptoms
Its important to learn how to recognize when your stress levels are actually getting out of control. Stress is deceptive. It has its way of creeping up on you so you get used to it and you start to feel a certain sense of familiarity with it. If you are not mindful of your body, you may just be surprised to see that it has already taken its toll on you and has already caused a great deal of harm.
For instance, people who are constantly exposed to high levels of stress may think that they have grown accustomed to the pressure and high surge of adrenaline, but the truth is, there is no such thing as getting used to stress. When you thrive on stress, its just difficult for you to discern the symptoms of stress but this does not mean that your body is not responding to stress. Eventually, something within you will malfunction.
It is important to recognize stress before it actually develops into a serious health problem. And while stress affects different people in many different ways, there are certain factors and symptoms that are common among the general population.
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How To Manage Stressors
There are several techniques to successfully manage stress. The next time youre feeling stuck and overwhelmed, try these suggestions from Little Rock, Arkansas-based psychiatrist Rhonda Mattox, M.D.:
- Calm your body. Pay attention to thoughts and breathing patterns. Many times when we are stressed, our breathing patterns shift to rapid and shallow, says Dr. Mattox. Prioritize slowing your breathing down and breathing from your diaphragm. Diaphragmatic breathing has been proven in studies to lower your cortisol and reduce physical signs of stress. This is done by laying on your back or sitting up with one hand just below your ribcage and one on your chest. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through parted lips, and your diaphragm should rise while your chest remains still the entire time.
- Practice your boundary setting to avoid yes stress. Many times we have overcommitted, and that is the main culprit of our stress, Dr. Mattox says. People pleasing is at the root of not feeling comfortable saying no, or yes stress, she adds. Address this tendency honestly to better maintain your personal boundaries. Seeking therapy may help, since guilt and manipulation may affect your inability to say no.
- Break big tasks down into smaller to-dos, and dont be afraid to delegate. Dr. Mattox says the use of planners and journals can be particularly helpful in proactively addressing and managing stressors.
How To Combat Dry Air
The best way to add moisture to a home is with the addition of a whole-house humidifier. These systems are installed directly to the homes HVAC system, so you wont have to worry about certain areas of your home experiencing different levels of humidity. The air conditioning and heating system will deliver humidified air to your entire home to balance the humidity level.
While portable humidifiers can help to improve the humidity levels of certain areas of the home, you would need to put a portable humidifier in each room to receive the same results produced by a whole-house humidifier. A whole-house humidifier will provide the best results to combat dry indoor air.
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Do I Have Anxiety Or Am I Just Stressed
Anxiety and stress may share similar symptoms, but theyre two different experiences. Anxiety is a mental health condition, whereas stress isnt. If youre curious about whether you may have an anxiety disorder, consider speaking with a mental health professional. You can also visit Psych Centrals anxiety resource hub or read our article What Is Stress? to learn more.
Admit That You Are Anxious Or Angry
Its important, to be honest with ourselves about how were feeling. If you are stressed out then it is okay to admit that so you can get the help needed in order to overcome whatever it is that might be burdening your mind and weighing down on your heart. Sometimes just telling someone whats wrong can make all the difference because theyll know exactly what needs doing, who needs talking to/about, or maybe even where something went missing which will solve everything by itself once revealed! No big deal after all
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How Do I Talk To My Boss About Feeling Stressed
Stress can get to the best of us. And we all have stressful moments, days, weeks, even months at work. We wouldnt be human if we didnt! But if work-related stress is affecting your health and wellbeing, its time to talk to your employer about it.
And its a conversation that nobody likes having. But if youre struggling with stress, its necessary to get help. Otherwise, prolonged stress will lead to burnout. In this blog, were going to outline our top tips for talking to your boss about feeling stressed.