12 Signs Of Being Stressed Out And 2 Things You Can Do To Fight It

Posted in: Health   

Are your stress levels getting too high? How do you know when it’s time to see a doctor? With so much bad news everywhere, skyrocketing stress levels come as no surprise. Doctors are seeing increasing instances of patients suffering from stress-related complications like irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, mood disorders, panic attacks, anxiety, constipation, depression, diarrhea and even psychotic episodes. High stress levels can lead to major complications which need expensive treatment so the best way you can avoid paying hefty health-care bills is not get sick in the first place.

How do you manage that when all you hear about is friends losing their jobs, homes being foreclosed, massive debt and rising food costs? It’s very difficult to stay calm in the face of a slew of stressful news. Chronic stress is extremely bad for the body and has a negative effect on the immune system. It not only increases the production of hormones in areas of the brain related to fear, it also inhibits the functioning of a protein that act as a break on your body’s stress response, allowing the stressful state to continue. Chronic stress can keep your body in a state of perceived threat, which can eventually push a person over their limit. Studies have shown many major illnesses like anxiety disorders, depressive episodes and signs of psychosis to be preceded by very high stress levels. It’s easy to get sick when your immunity goes down.

How can you tell if you are stressed out? Just answer the following checklist:

1) Are your personal relationships suffering?
2) Do you feel increasingly exhausted most of the time?
3) Do you find it difficult to concentrate or recollect something?
4) Are you lethargic, irritable and moody more than usual?
5) Do you indulge in more alcohol or cigarettes to combat stress?
6) Are you suffering from headaches, constipation or other physical complaints?
7) Do you have great trouble sleeping?
8) Are you obsessively thinking about your problems? Can’t turn it off?
9) Do you feel hopeless and powerless most of the time?
10) Do you check your bank accounts all the time or call your financial advisor repeatedly?
11) Are you constantly negative?
12) Are you suffering from a low sex drive?

If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, then it may be time to see a doctor. There are two things that you can do straightaway however to reduce your stress levels.

1) Make it a point to eat properly, get lots of exercise and adequate amounts of sleep. Focus on taking care of yourself first. Even though this may sound simplistic it will bring your stress levels down and keep your immune system healthy. Take vitamin C too.

2) Completely avoid predicting how things will be in the future. When things start to look bad one of the ways that people push themselves over the edge into mental illnesses is to obsess about what might happen. If you feel that ‘your life is over’ or that you’ll never be able to ‘turn the corner’ then you need help! It’s easy to make self-fulfilling prophecies out of these types of statements especially when you stop taking care of yourself, don’t act and feel helpless. No one reacts well to uncertainly but some people have lower thresholds when it comes to their ability to deal with uncertainty for long periods of time.

If your worries are beginning to eat away at you then every situation is a potential cause for more worry. Instead of feeling grateful for having a job you may obsess about getting the axe anytime, perform less effectively as a result, which people begin to notice and from then on it can snowball into exactly the result you were terrified about. So avoid negative self-talk, unrealistic expectations, pessimism, and obsessive thinking and making catastrophic predictions. Get pro-active and focus on altering your spending habits, eating right and gaining new skills instead. Talking to close friends, family members and having a strong social support system in place will help you to combat stress effectively.

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