Ten Strange Indicators that You’re Under Stress

Ten Strange Indicators that You’re Under Stress

Is there something your body is trying to tell you?

Do you have hair loss? Putting on weight? Reducing your sleep? It’s possible that stress is the only factor causing these symptoms, despite their apparent disconnection.

Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are released by the body’s fight-or-flight response, which keeps the body vigilant and prepared to respond to potentially hazardous circumstances.

Although stress is a natural part of life, it can occasionally cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms that we are prone to mistake for other illnesses. These are some important cues your body may be giving you to unwind.

You start losing hair

According to Dr. Richard Granstein, the George W. Hambrick, Jr. Professor, chair of the Israel Englander Department of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and chief dermatologist at New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, increased stress levels can cause hair loss in clumps for as long as three months, even though the average person loses 100 to 200 strands of hair per day.

According to Granstein, this phenomenon—medically known as telogen effluvium—causes several hair follicles to concurrently enter a “resting phase” and abruptly fall out of the scalp.

“Some people think that it’s a neuroendocrine effect, and that hormones released by stress cause it,” Granstein says. “But the truth is that nobody really knows why it happens.”

Your gastrointestinal tract feels disoriented

Because of the brain-gut link, severe stress can cause havoc on the digestive system and make you go to the bathroom, says gastroenterologist Dr. Maged Rizk of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Strong emotions, like fear and anxiety, for example, have an effect on the limbic system of the brain, which communicates with the gastrointestinal tract’s organs. Depending on which organ is aroused, the outcome may include diarrhea, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, or even vomiting.

You’re not sleeping long enough

Stress frequently interferes with sleep, making it difficult to get to sleep, stay asleep, or have a restful night’s sleep.
These sleep abnormalities might therefore result in mood swings, such as increased irritability or weariness.

Adults should try to get seven hours or more of sleep every night, but this can be challenging if you’re under a lot of stress. This recommendation comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A surprisingly wide range of health issues, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, can be made more likely by little sleep. Getting enough sleep is important for many reasons, including this increased risk.

Your skin breakouts

According to Granstein, stress has been linked to a number of skin conditions, including rashes, hives, and acne.

Cortisol, a stress hormone, triggers the skin’s oil-producing glands to go into overdrive, which contributes to acne. Once again, stress is linked to skin problems like rosacea and psoriasis outbreaks. These are caused by hormones that our bodies release when we are under stress.

You recover gradually

Cuts and scratches can take longer to heal when we’re under stress. This is due to the fact that while under stress, the body takes moisture from the skin’s outer layers, impeding the healing process.

Because of this, a wound that would heal in approximately a week may require an extra few days or longer. Most skin wounds should be cleaned every day with a mild soap, then covered with a fresh bandage and petroleum jelly.

Consult a medical professional if the wound is red or painful, or if it is growing worse rather than better.

You find it difficult to focus

It’s simple to attribute your lack of attention to the fast-paced environment and endless distractions of modern life. It seems like none of us can focus longer than a gnat. But according to Turk, stress can actually impair your brain’s capacity for concentration and focus. Problems focusing can therefore exacerbate mood swings brought on by stress and result in additional irritation.

In addition to focus and concentration approaches, such as the pomodoro method or putting your phone in a different room while working, it might be beneficial to attempt stress-reduction techniques if you’re experiencing problems concentrating.

You have very little energy

It’s common to occasionally experience low energy days. It’s not normal to feel that way every day. Fatigue both mentally and physically can result from ongoing stress.

“The exhaustion associated with stress can make it harder for individuals to engage in activities that typically bring joy and satisfaction,” Turk says.

Consider the possibility that ongoing stress may be influencing your energy levels if you feel like you’re always running low on energy and getting enough sleep isn’t making you feel better.

Breathing is difficult for you

According to Dr. Stephen Tilley, an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill who specializes in respiratory disorders, high stress levels are associated with asthma and other breathing problems. Hospitalized patients with asthma attacks frequently report having experienced stress prior to the incident.

Seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing unexpected difficulty breathing.

Your perception shifts

Consider carefully before attributing a shift in your vision to symptoms such as dry eyes or abrupt blurriness in your vision. Because stress can interfere with your body’s circulation, it may be the culprit. As a result, there may be less blood flow to the skin, brain, and eyes, according to Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, an Asheville, North Carolina-based general care physician who is now a stress management coach.

Stress can also make your pupils dilate, which is your body’s method of getting ready to squint at a predator and lead to blurry eyesight. Your eyelids may twitch as a result of stress, but these involuntary movements—known as myokymia—usually go away on their own as your body relaxes.

You put on weight

Our bodies have a tendency to cling onto fat when we’re under stress, especially in the abdomen. According to Ackrill, as belly fat accumulates, the body begins to become inflamed and releases hormones that impact our sensation of fullness.

Stress hormones also cause our metabolism to slow down and increase our desire for sugar and fatty meals.

“It’s this catch-22,” Ackrill says. “You’re stressed, so you eat more. You don’t get (full) because your body is stressed and thinks it’s time for the Great Famine. Then, you have this abdominal fat that sits around and makes the situation worse.”

Here are some tips for handling stress better

In this chaotic world of ours, a lot of you deal with stress on a regular basis. However, the secret is to learn how to control it so that it doesn’t become out of control.

The following are some suggestions for managing stress:

  • Establish a network of friends and family who may serve as a source of inspiration and encouragement.
  • Prioritize getting enough sleep as much as possible.
  • Strive for a regular exercise regimen. According to federal guidelines, you should engage in moderate, heart-pumping exercise for 150 minutes every week, or 30 minutes five times a week. If you’ve never worked out before, start out slowly. Your physical and emotional well-being can be improved by taking even short walks—10 minutes—after meals.
  • Engage in deep breathing and relaxation techniques, such as guided imagery and meditation. You may even unwind with a warm shower.
  • Try setting priorities for the tasks you need to complete. Establish a realistic timetable for your tasks and allocate time for self-care.
  • Establish limits to prevent taking on too much. If accepting something will add too much to your plate, that’s okay.

When to get treatment for excessive stress

When you experience excessive stress, there are situations in which you should get professional assistance from a mental health or medical professional:

  • Stress is interfering with your daily routine.
  • Things you used to appreciate are no longer enjoyable to you.
  • You’re experiencing physical symptoms like breathing difficulties or chest pain; Turk suggests getting medical attention right once for these.
  • Your symptoms of a pre-existing mental illness, such as sadness or anxiety, are becoming worse.
  • Your relationships at work and at home are suffering as a result of stress.
  • You’re contemplating suicide or self-harm. You can text or call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 988.

These are ten surprising indicators that you’re under stress:

  • You experience hair loss.
  • Your digestive system seems to be malfunctioning.
  • You’re not sleeping long enough.
  • Your skin becomes rashy.
  • You recover gradually.
  • You have difficulty focusing.
  • You have very little energy.
  • You’re having trouble breathing.
  • Your field of vision shifts.
  • You put on weight.

Sanchita Patil

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