UNEXPECTED ways stress destroys your health PLUS tips to manage stress more effectively
(NaturalHealth365) Everyone gets stressed now and then, but severe or chronic stress can cause serious health issues. While the typical signs of stress are well known – high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, and anxiety – there are some lesser-known symptoms of stress that you should be aware of.
The truth is stress has reached critical levels in the United States. The American Psychological Association (APA) has identified stress as a national mental health crisis. We are seeing more people with stress-related health conditions, and it is only getting worse.
Do you have stress? These unexpected signs of stress may surprise you.
Unexpected signs that you might be stressed
These are some of the lesser-known symptoms of stress. Having one or two may point to stress or it may not (although you should talk to your doctor about it). However, if you have noticed three or more, you are probably under a lot of stress – and it just might be getting the better of you.
- You feel lightheaded and dizzy. When you are stressed, it can cause your heart rate to increase, and you may change your breathing pattern to shallow, rapid breaths. This can lead to dizziness and make you feel faint.
- You have dry mouth and difficulty swallowing. When your body is under stress it can cause your production of saliva to slow. This can lead to dry mouth and difficulty swallowing.
- You have stomach issues. Stress can cause all kinds of gastrointestinal issues from constipation to diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, irritable bowel, and stomach pains.
- You’ve lost interest in sex. When stress goes on and on without any reprieve, it is hard on your body to the point that your hormonal balance may be disrupted. This can lead to missed periods, irregular menstrual cycle, erectile dysfunction, and a diminished sex drive.
- Your head, ear, or jaw hurt. Many people clench their jaws when they are stressed and don’t even realize it. They may also grind their teeth without knowing. This can all lead to headaches, ear pain, and jaw pain.
- Your muscles ache. When people are stressed, they tend to tense their muscles. This can cause pain in the muscles. Tension in the back and neck can also lead to tension headaches and even migraines.
- You are losing your hair. As hair follicles go through their growth cycle, some shedding is natural. However, stress can cause a disruption in the growth cycle, causing an increase in hair loss.
Here are 7 smart strategies for beating stress
Your body was not made to be under stress all the time. If you can’t eliminate the stress, then you need to find ways to manage it. These tips will help get started.
- Practice regular self-care. Self-care is so important. And it doesn’t have to be extravagant. Take yourself to lunch, turn off your phone for 30 minutes, take a hot bath, do what makes you feel relaxed.
- Eat right. This one is a no-brainer, yet so many people do not do it. Avoid processed foods and opt for organic whole grains, 100% grass-fed meats, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Don’t skip meals and avoid sugar. It’s really that simple.
- Get good quality sleep. You need about 8 good hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation can have some serious ramifications. This means taking the time to prepare yourself for sleep, putting down your electronic device, and getting good quality rest.
- Exercise regularly. You don’t have to be an elite athlete or even try to be one. All you have to do is commit to walking for about 30 minutes 3-5 times a week. You will be amazed at how much it helps. You might even want to do it more often.
- Stay hydrated. Hydration is absolutely vital to the healthy function of the body. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of (clean) water per day. Learn the signs of dehydration because even low-level dehydration can affect your health.
- Get a hobby. Find something enjoyable to do that allows you to put down your electronic device and do something in the real world. Write poetry, paint, garden, find something that disconnects you from all those connected devices, and get some real relaxation.
- Spend time with the people you love. Spending time with family and friends can do wonders for your mental health. Take some time every week to connect with a family member or friend.
Simply put, stress doesn’t have to get the better of you. Take steps right now to learn better ways of coping with pressure. Nothing is more valuable than your health.
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