When you feel stressed, it can be a clear indication that it’s time to take a look at your life and make some adjustments before things get worse.
Even the most successful and powerful people in the world can be the victims of stress, the oft’ ignored silent killer – or certain to potentially affecting greatly one’s quality of life – regardless of anyone’s station (or status) in life.
Stress, if left unattended and allowed to become worse or more intense, especially through long-term neglect or indifference, can have serious consequences. Stress is the leading cause of maladies leading to serious health conditions, illness and hospitalization due to increased likelihood of suffering from high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.
Stress can cause one’s autoimmune system to break down leaving you more susceptible to heartburn, indigestion, stomach aches, dizziness, diarrhea, weak bladder (leading to urinary tract infections), loss of breath, shallow breathing, hyperventilation, heart palpitations, headaches and leave one more prone to catching a cold or flu viruses.
Increase of body aches and pains expressed as muscle tension, back, head, shoulder and neck pain. Sufferers may also experience tired (dry) eyes, dry mouth, stiff (or locked) jaw, sweaty palms, cold hands and fingers.
Stress can be a healthy alert
If you are alert to the signs of unwelcome stress, you can more readily diagnose yourself as suffering from undue stress, assess and address the conditions causing the stress and take action to turn your life around, get back on track and have a more joyful and fulfilling life; full of health and vitality.
The key is to notice the indicators alerting you of your growing stress levels, because a person can only take so much before it starts to infect other biological systems. While the human body is the most magnificent creations known to us, one can only take so much.
In any case, you’ve noticed that you are no longer the person that you used to be.
Here are some clues that you might be accumulating too much stress in your life:
Are you jumpy or easily agitated?
An increase in irritability, feeling irritable, on edge, impatient or intolerant – especially if this is not your standard demeanor – could indicate that it is time to review your stress levels.
Parents get more intolerant of their kids, at work you’re less likely to overlook the actions of a coworker, are increasingly disrespectful to your boss (which could lead to losing your job, greatly exasperating your stress level) or you might find yourself snapping at the store clerk, for holding up the checkout line.
Those under too much stress can suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, panic attacks, anger, resentment, emotional instability leading to otherwise controllable outbursts, on the verge of tears, increased moodiness or nightmares; certainly an inability to find joy or laugh.
Stress can take a toll on your state of mind including racing thoughts, being more talkative. Dominating potential conversations, not allowing others to speak and interrupting them if they attempt to get a word in edgewise.
Loss of concentration, ruminating over the past, thoughts of overwhelm, reduction in decision making capabilities, a growing sense of fatigue and being tired all the time.
This growing intolerance in allowing others to participate in the fringes of your life can lead to isolating one’s self and becoming reclusive, withdrawing from society. This can lead to other behavioral issues, like becoming more aggressive.
You may be more prone to outbursts of anger, a reduction in cognitive function potentially blurring moral cues that could lead to an increasing potential of breaking the law and even criminal acts.
You may become more nervous, affecting your daily routine. Some people become a workaholic, while others take on other nervous attributes that could include hair twirling, biting one’s nails, teeth grinding, twitching, leg bouncing, foot tapping or excessive smoking.
If you are finding yourself experiencing higher levels of stress, and it is affecting who you are as a person, there is hope…