Symptoms of Stress

Stress is something everybody experiences from time to time

Stress is something everybody experiences from time to time and it affects different people in different ways. A little stress can actually be beneficial. It keeps you alert and motivated to get things done. But too much stress can have serious consequences for your health, on both a physical and emotional level.

So how do you know if your stress levels are getting out of hand? Here are the most common symptoms of stress and how they can affect your daily life:

Feeling Worried or Anxious

Do you ever find yourself worrying about every little thing, even those which you have no control over? This is a common sign that your stress levels are getting too high. When you are stressed, your sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive and can make even small problems seem like disasters. Try to reason with yourself and only worry about things which truly matter or that you can change.

Lack of Energy

Constantly being on-the-go, either physically or mentally, can be exhausting. This is why feeling tired or sluggish is a common symptom of stress. You can combat low energy by eating a balanced, nutritious diet high in foods which release their energy slowly. These include whole grains, lean protein and vegetables.

Vitamins B5 (Pantothenic acid) and B12 are especially important for supporting normal mental function. B5 can be found in oily fish, eggs, mushrooms and broccoli, and B12 is present in animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs and dairy.

Avoid the temptation to snack on sugary foods or binge on caffeine as this will only give you a brief energy boost and leave you feeling worse in the long run.

Sleep Problems

You feel exhausted all day, only to get into bed at night and find yourself unable to sleep as thoughts and worries race in your mind — sound familiar? This frustrating situation is a classic symptom of stress. Try to unwind before bed by doing something relaxing like taking a hot bath, reading a book or meditating. Avoid phones, TV, caffeine and alcohol leading up to bed time.

Lack of Focus

Stress can make it difficult to concentrate. Combat this by tackling one task at a time and checking items off your to-do list as you go. Take regular breaks to change your surroundings, stretch, regroup and refocus your mind.

Headaches

Headaches are another common symptom of stress. Make sure that you eat at regular intervals during the day and drink enough fluids. If you have a headache, try gently massaging your temples or the back of your neck to release muscular tension and give you some relief.

Digestive Issues

Stress can often cause digestive problems — feeling sick, constipation or diarrhea. Some lose their appetite, while others overeat when they are stressed. Keep your digestion healthy by eating a balanced diet including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and protein. If you are too busy to cook during the week, try preparing food at the weekend and freezing extra portions to heat up later in the week. Keep your meal times regular and avoid skipping meals, eating at your desk or on the go. Even if you are busy, it is important to give your body a chance to digest your food before you rush back to work.

If you are suffering from the symptoms of stress, there are plenty of things you can do to help. Here are our tips and tricks for when you are feeling burn-out.

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