Are you aware of how easily life’s many and varied challenges can have a negative effect on your entire well-being? You’ve probably had an experience or two where unexpected or rough times have come upon you, and at the end of the road you feel like you’ve handled the situation well, with no lasting ill effects.
Even though you were successful at handling the immediate situation, there may be some very real – and very negative – side-effects which you might be tempted to overlook as “things that just happen” in life.
Some of those very things may be signs of stress which, if left unattended, can lead to further challenges down the road.
Ask yourself if any of the behaviors or states of mind listed below have been prevalent at any stage of your life. If you’re able to identify them, chances are that unrecognized stress is manifesting in your life and it’s important to eliminate it right away.
Stress reduction methods like exercise and meditation can bring immense relief and restore your well-being in addition to arming you with coping techniques to help you overcome future challenges.
How to Identify Physical and Mental Signs of Stress
1. Changes in your sleep habits. Nobody knows your body better than you do. You know how much sleep you usually get on a good, calm night, and if you find yourself sleeping either significantly more or less than normal, chances are you’re undergoing stress. A change in sleep habits is a sure sign that something is keeping you in an unsettled state.
* Try to engage in specific relaxing activities at the end of each day that can put you in the frame of mind for rest. Meditation, a soothing bath, soft music, and even laughter are good ideas.
* If your sleep issues persist, see your doctor for further guidance.
2. Frequent mood swings. Take a moment to think back over the last few days and how you handled each situation that confronted you. Did you handle everything in your usual calm, controlled, effective manner? If not, you may be dealing with stress issues.
* Frequent mood swings, especially if your mood has swung from frustration, anger and irritability to defensiveness, impatience and overreaction, are a clear indication that stress abides within you.
* Other moods and states of mind to look out for include:
o Feeling depressed or hopeless
o Helplessness with things you can normally handle on your own
o Irrationality in dealing with decision-making
o Restlessness and anxiety
3. Nervous behavior. When you start to show physical signs of nervous behavior, it’s likely a sign that something is secretly stressing you out. Here are some signs of nervous behavior which you may need to address in a way that identifies the cause.
* Twitching or nervous movement
* Excessive talkativeness
* Teeth grinding
* Nail biting
4. Indecisiveness and confusion. If you’re usually able to think things through with a clear head and now you can’t, it’s likely that you’re struggling with stress.
* Stress results in feeling out of control and overwhelmed, even with things that you can normally handle with confidence.
Ill health isn’t always about feeling aches and pains. The domino effect of stress can result in serious health challenges. For your own benefit, it’s important to pay attention to yourself and ensure you do whatever’s necessary to reduce your stress.