Ever wondered how to know if you are stressed?
Most people make the incorrect assumption that all stress is the same, when in fact there is such a thing as bad stress and good stress.
What triggers a stress response?
Oh boy…where do I start.
Simple things like by being late for work, looming deadlines or experiencing social alienation can trigger stress.
While serious in their own right, they do not warrant a massive release of stress hormone. However, the problem is that stress responses often becomes constant and chronic.
How To Know If You Are Stressed! Look for the following…
You Can’t Sleep
Short-term stress does not have a lasting effect on the body, even though Adrenaline is one of the body’s stress hormones.
Adrenaline is the hormone that kicks us into high gear, so that we may “fight or flee.” We are then alert, heart rate and breathing increases, and the desire for sleep disappears.
But when stress turns chronic, Adrenaline is released around the clock- impairing your ability to sleep. If you can’t sleep for many nights in a row, there’s a good chance you are chronically stressed.
Want more clues on how to know if you are stressed?
Poor Concentration And Inability To Work Efficiently
Stress rewires the way the brain works to make it more emotionally responsive.
The result? Changes occur that decrease the areas of the brain responsible for learning and memory. But that’s not all. Changes also occur that increase brain areas of the parts that control emotional responses.
So, when you get a task at work with an impossible deadline, you respond emotionally. For instance, you may break down and start to cry if you can’t meet the deadline.
Alternatively, you may lash out in anger because you feel overworked. Those strong emotional responses indicate chronic stress.
No Interest In Sex
Chronic stress suppresses testosterone levels and induces negative changes to blood vessels that impairs blood flow. The result in a loss of interest in sex.
In women, the main sign is suppressed libido, but it also affects fertility in both genders.
Lack of Joy
Chronic stress has far reaching effects. It can also affect the levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.
More specifically, it depletes their levels. That in turn hinders motivation and drive, and can cause depression due to reduced brain serotonin.
Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that modulates mood and wellbeing, while dopamine keeps us driven.
When both of these brain chemicals are reduced, the result is a general loss of purpose, and a “so what” attitude. This has far reaching effects to family of those affected too.
Changes To Attitude And Temperament
The changes to attitude and mood that occur when under chronic stress are triggered mostly by sleep deprivation. But cortisol itself is known to cause these changes as well.
As mentioned, cortisol alters the areas of the brain that govern logical thinking and emphasizes emotional reactions.
Individuals start to display outbursts of angry tantrums, or just act in a manner not conducive of fostering healthy relationships.
If you recognize any of these signs of chronic stress in yourself, get your stress under control as fast as humanly possible.
Schedule a stay-home vacation, take a few days off from work, just our private Facebook community of women beating chronic stress, and just try to get some sleep.
The signs of chronic stress taking hold occur gradually, and could easily be managed in the early stages with effective stress management activities.
Don’t allow your acute response to stress to become a much worse beast- relaxation is key!