Stress is a part of everyday life. In fact, psychologists around the world agree that some stress is necessary for a healthy wellbeing. However, too much stress can create physical symptoms that are annoying, painful, or just plain scary. Here are 12 signs of stress you should keep in mind.
#1 – Hair Loss
Although it is one of the more unusual signs of stress, hair loss can occur in men and women alike. However, dermatologists typically agree that hair loss and short-term stress aren’t related. This symptom indicates you’ve been feeling frazzled for a long time. There’s good news, though – your hair will grow back once you deal with the stress.
#2 – Hypoglycemia
Cortisol is a hormone that your body produces as a reaction to stress. Although it’s perfectly natural and healthy to have some cortisol in your bloodstream, too much can affect your body’s sensitivity to insulin, causing physical symptoms related to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. These include fatigue, “brain fog,” and shakiness.
#3 – Weight Gain
Cortisol can also cause you to gain weight in certain areas of your body, especially around your abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. If you’ve been gaining weight even though your diet hasn’t changed, this is one of the surefire signs of stress.
#4 – Fatigue
Fatigue is often one of the first and most noticeable signs of stress. Once again, cortisol may be to blame. Physicians believe that this constant lack of energy may be adrenal fatigue, which occurs when the adrenal glands are dealing with too much cortisol.
#5 – Flushing
Although some of the signs of stress come on gradually, there are others that feel more sudden. For example, short-term stress can cause your heart rate and respirations to increase, which can lead to flushing, an increase in your core body temperature, and even excessive perspiration.
#6 – Acne Breakouts
Cortisol can even have an impact on your skin. The more stress you deal with, and the longer you deal with it, the more cortisol builds up in your bloodstream. This hormone can be excreted through your sebaceous glands, which can clog pores and cause breakout.
#7 – Trembling
Hand trembling is another of the most common signs of stress. It may be an acute reaction to an immediate stressor, which is perfectly normal. However, if you notice your hands trembling frequently, even when things seem to be going smoothly, it’s likely the result of long-term stress.
#8 – Body Aches
When you’re dealing with too much stress, you subconsciously tense your muscles, especially in your back, neck, and shoulders. If you feel body aches, but you aren’t coming down with the flu, then chances are good that you have too much stress in your life.
#9 – Frequent Illnesses
As mentioned previously, stress can negatively affect your adrenal glands by flooding them with cortisol. Your body depends on those glands to function, so when they’re being compromised, you’re more susceptible to colds, flus, and infections.
#10 – Premature Aging
Just as a vacation on the beach can leave you looking amazingly youthful and radiant, long-term stress can take its toll on your physical appearance. Wrinkles, discoloration, and under-eye bags are all prominent signs of stress.
#11 – Grinding Teeth
Bruxism, or the act of grinding one’s teeth, is often the result of stress. Because most people do it at night and aren’t even aware of it, keep an eye out for jaw pain or tooth pain in the morning hours. This is usually a giveaway.
#12 – Fainting
In the movies, people faint when they’re stressed out all the time – and it can happen in real life, too. It happens when your blood pressure drops suddenly, which can happen when you’re stressed out.
As you can see, there are many signs of stress that are easy to mistake for the flu, an injury, or even a serious health problem. Before you start diagnosing yourself, look at all the stressors in your life and see what you can do to reduce them. Exercise, meditation, and even acupuncture are all great ways to deal with stress and improve your wellbeing.