Are You Under Too Much Stress? Symptoms, Treatment And Tips
Do you feel like you have stress coming at you from all directions? Does it feel like you couldn’t possibly handle one more thing not going smoothly? Do you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? If that sounds like you, you may be under too much stress.
Unfortunately, stress is a normal part of life. No one is going to make it through life without feeling stressed from time to time. However, there is a big difference between dealing with the occasional stressful situation out of your control and feeling like you’re regularly overwhelmed with stress.
Learning how to identify what stress looks like and where it’s coming from can help you learn how to address it. Below you’ll find treatment options and tips that can help you learn to manage stress healthily.
What Is Stress?
Stress is a natural feeling you get as a response to things that are changing and happening around you. When you feel stressed, hormones flood your body and your fight-or-flight response kicks in. If you’re in a dangerous situation, like facing a dangerous animal, the stress response could help save your life.
Most of us aren’t facing life-or-death situations daily. Instead, we may be dealing with things like financial stress, challenges in the workplace, complicated relationships, and health concerns. Once your stress levels increase, it can take hours for them to return to normal. If you experience stress regularly, it can have a serious impact on your physical and mental health.
What Are The Symptoms Of Stress?
Stress can show in people’s lives in different ways. However, there do tend to be some common symptoms that you may recognize if you deal with chronic stress. Some of these symptoms include:
Insomnia or trouble sleeping.
Muscle tension or chronic pain
Low sexual desire
Change in appetite (could be eating more or eating less)
Fatigue or exhaustion
As you can see, stress doesn’t just impact your mental and emotional health. It can affect your physical health and behavior as well. You may notice that you are more irritable with others because your stress causes you to struggle with patience. You may constantly be thinking about a stressful situation that leaves you feeling on edge.
If you try to ignore your stress instead of dealing with it, you may find that it continues to grow and cause new problems in your life. This is why it’s important to learn tips for relieving stress and what your treatment options are.
Stress Management Treatment And Tips
It’s important to note that some stress management tips may work better for you than others. If the first thing you try isn’t working, don’t give up.
Identify Where Your Stress Is Coming From
If you don’t know why you’re feeling stressed, it will be hard to find the proper treatment to address it. Take time to inventory what’s been happening in your life. Are there certain parts of the day when you feel more stressed than others? Look at what’s happening around you to determine possible triggers.
Participate In Activities That Help You Relax
If life feels busy and you feel like you’re running morning until night, you may not be making time to relax and recharge. Make sure you have time to unwind each day and do things that you enjoy.
Selfcare is different for everyone. What activities have you done in the past that are good stress relief for you? It may be reading a book, playing basketball, taking a hot bubble bath, or going for a run. Do things that help you relax. If you’ve been neglecting this area for a long time, it may be hard for you to remember what you enjoy doing. Keep trying different things until you find what works best for you.
Adjust Your Calendar
You may feel like you’re under too much stress because you struggle with time management skills. Maybe you feel overwhelmed at work, but you’re spending a lot of time on social media instead of accomplishing tasks. Or, you may struggle to properly estimate the time it takes you to do a task.
It can be helpful to spend some time tracking how long tasks take you to complete. Once you have this information, you can plan your day more accurately instead of trying to accomplish more than what’s reasonable.
It is also beneficial to cut back on how much you schedule. Even if the activities on your calendar are good, you're likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed if you’re trying to do too much. Take time to prioritize your tasks and see what things need your attention and what you can put on the back burner.
Take A Break
If you’re under too much stress, you may just need to take a break. You may need to take a sick day from work or turn your phone off for the weekend to unplug for a few days. Simply finding a way to remove yourself from the things that are causing you stress can help you rest and recharge.
Taking time to journal your thoughts and emotions can help you unwind and relieve stress and gain a new perspective on the things that are causing you stress. And sometimes, simply putting your thoughts down on paper can help you let go of the stress associated with them. You may find it helpful to just journal when you’re feeling stressed, or it may help you turn it into a daily habit.
Talk To A Therapist
If you’re dealing with chronic stress, it can be helpful to talk with a therapist. A therapist can help you work through where your stress is coming from, spot unhealthy habits, and help you learn coping strategies to manage your stress better.
If you’ve been avoiding therapy because you feel like you are too stressed to add one more thing to your schedule, working with an online therapist may be a good solution. Online therapy allows you to have your sessions from anywhere convenient for you, which can save you the time of driving back and forth and help you feel more comfortable.
Research shows that online therapy is effective at relieving stress, too. One review showed that online therapy can significantly reduce the impact of stress and resulted in a 50% improvement in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and many other conditions. If you’re interested in learning more, get started at BetterHelp.
These are just a few of the ways you can relieve stress in your life. While it may be normal to experience stress from time to time, it can leave you physically and mentally exhausted to struggle with it regularly. Take time to explore what tips and strategies work the best for you so you can live as stress-free as possible.
What Are Signs If Too Much Stress?
Two signs of too much stress include trouble sleeping and becoming irritable or losing your temper more easily. However, there are many possible symptoms of stress, including chest pain, body aches or pain, digestive problems, depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms, muscle tension, and more.
If you want help identifying whether you are experiencing too much stress, there are resources that can help. For example, the National Institute of Mental Health website has a fact sheet that you may find beneficial.
In any case, you know yourself best, and you deserve to find relief. Don’t hesitate to talk with a healthcare provider, such as your primary care doctor or a therapist, about stress symptoms and managing stress.
What Are 5 Emotional Signs Of Stress?
You may be able to identify physical symptoms of stress, and you might know that long-term stress can lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack and heart disease. But you may not know how the body’s heightened stress response might affect mental emotional health. Five possible emotional symptoms of stress or stress symptoms include:
Increased irritability or a short temper that is out of character
Feelings of depression/depression symptoms (e.g., feeling hopeless or worthless
Feelings of anxiety/anxiety symptoms (e.g., racing thoughts, excessive worry)
Feeling overwhelmed or more emotional than one typically does
Trouble concentrating or focusing
While these aren’t the only signs or symptoms of stress, they are common ones that may occur when the body’s stress response is heightened.
Can Stress Make You Ill?
Stress can make you ill, in more ways than one. If left unchecked, stress can lead to high blood pressure, an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, early aging and mortality, and prolonged trouble sleeping. These are just some examples of how an increased risk of illness can result from stress.
How Do I Get Rid Of Stress?
Here are some things to try that can help individuals relieve stress symptoms or manage stress:
Breathing exercises or deep breathing techniques
Progressive muscle relaxation
Spending time outdoors
Positive self-talk and affirmations
Spending time on enjoyable hobbies
Many of these stress relief and relaxation techniques are also associated with better mood and other benefits (e.g., physical activity). It can also be helpful to prevent stress when possible. At times, a healthcare provider can help you with this. For example, a qualified licensed healthcare professional may suggest lifestyle changes or offer a referral to a mental health therapist who can help with managing stress. If you do experience long-term stress, make sure to reach out for support.
What Is The Biggest Cause Of Stress?
According to the 2022 statistics from the APA’s stress in America survey, inflation is one of the biggest sources of stress in the US at this time. Other causes of stress included but weren’t limited to global uncertainty and supply chain issues. Daily stressors associated with work, school, family, divorce, and other potential concerns may also lead to the signs and symptoms of stress.
Sources of stress may differ, but stress management is crucial for everyone. If you experience physical or mental health symptoms of stress, reach out to a medical or mental health professional. Stress is a common problem, and it is a valid one.
What Does Stress Do To The Body?
What’s the connection between stress and your health or body? Stress affects both the body and mind. Here are some of the potential health problems and symptoms associated with stress:
Sleep problems (e.g., not getting enough sleep or early waking)
High blood pressure
Body pain or body aches
An increased risk of a heart attack
An increased risk of stroke
Fatigue or low energy
Changes in mood
If you notice the signs or symptoms of stress in yourself or identify that you’re feeling overwhelmed regularly, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional. Opening up about stress can make a difference and be the first step to finding relief. No one is immune to the need for stress management or caring for their body; managing stress and your overall health matters, and you don’t have to do it all alone.
How Does Stress Feel In Your Body?
Stress and your health are things to take seriously. Feelings associated with stress can include chest pain, digestive problems, sleep problems, mouth or jaw tension, body aches, pain, or muscle tension.
Mental health or behavioral symptoms of stress or stress symptoms may also occur. These can include symptoms of depression and anxiety, an increased tendency to feel overwhelmed, and heightened irritability or a shorter temper. It is also relevant to note that some stress symptoms or symptoms of stress can overlap with signs of other health concerns, including those that affect the body and mind both, some of which can be serious.
If you experience symptoms that are a cause for concern, such as chest pain, it is vital to reach out to a healthcare provider. A healthcare provider can make sure that you are clear of any existing serious health problems or illnesses and provide individualized guidance based on your circumstances.
Does Crying Relieve Stress?
Crying can indeed help relieve stress. It releases endorphins in the body, which can help with body and emotional pain and may even improve mood. While excessive crying could indicate mental health concerns at times, there’s nothing wrong with crying, and it is a healthy thing to do.
How Do I Know If I'm Too Stressed?
The connection between stress and your health isn’t something to overlook, and it’s essential to manage stress and take care of yourself. There are many physical symptoms of stress to look out for, including:
Body aches, pain, or muscle tension
Increased or high blood pressure
Impacted immune system functioning
Mental health or emotional stress symptoms can include:
Feelings of depression
Feelings of anxiety
Social isolation or withdrawal
Irritability or a short temper
Some emotional, psychological, social, or behavioral symptoms of stress overlap with various mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. It is also worth noting that stress can worsen symptoms of existing mental health and physical health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
If you are concerned about your mental health, it’s essential to speak with a medical or mental health professional who can help you cope with stress more effectively, and in turn, reduce the effects of stress as a result of lowering or managing stress levels. Though stress management may feel far away for those in high-stress situations, it is possible, and you don’t have to do it on your own. It’s okay to ask for help.
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