This is everyday, manageable stress. Normal stress actually helps you deal with things more successfully. If you barely make it to work on time one day, you’ll leave earlier the next day. You call your friend and resolve the issue. You decide to start shopping earlier or go online and make purchases.
However, there may be times when you become chronically stressed. When you are in a constant state of stress, you begin to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope on a daily basis. How do you know if it’s regular stress, or if you have chronic stress that may need to be addressed?
Following are some of the signs and symptoms of chronic stress:
Head and neck pain
Tension or stress headaches are one of the most common symptoms of chronic stress. Stress can also trigger migraines and lead to neck and back pain. You may even experience overall muscles aches and pains.
It has been determined that psychological stress can lead to gastrointestinal disorders. You may develop acid indigestion, heartburn or irritable bowel syndrome. You could have an ongoing churning or upset feeling in your stomach and lose your appetite.
Being under stress can affect your mood and general well-being. You may feel depressed, agitated or moody. You may snap at others over things that wouldn’t normally bother you. You may withdraw from your normal activities or spend less time with your circle of friends. You may just feel unhappy.
Lack of concentration
Do you misplace things? Wander into another room but don’t remember why? Are you putting simple tasks off instead of immediately taking care of them? While these are examples of normal forgetfulness and procrastination, these behaviors can become more severe with chronic stress.
Waking up drained and fatigued is another sign that you may be overworked and overextended. You feel tired all day and are exhausted by the time you go to bed. But as soon as you close your eyes at night, your brain just won’t shut down. You may also wake up frequently at night or toss and turn as daylight approaches.
You may reach a point where it’s all just too much. You are so stressed over everything that you don’t feel you can truly accomplish anything.
To live a fulfilling life, we all need to have goals, dreams and responsibilities. However, there is a difference between living fully and living in a constant state of stress. If you are experiencing chronic stress, it may be time to make positive changes in your life that will help you manage and control your stress levels.
Balance is the key. Take a look at A Completely Balanced Life for tips and guidance on how to live your best life by living a balanced life.