Are You Stressed To the Max?
Author: Shannon Miller
Whether the end of summer means the kids are headed back to school and an endless array of activities, the vacation is over or simply that the long hours of work continue; it’s important to manage your stress level and maintain your sanity.
One thing I’ve learned about stress is that it isn’t always a bad thing. Stress helps us gear up to meet challenges. However, beyond a certain point, stress can be harmful to your health.
According to helpguide.org, stress can effect:
- blood pressure
- immune system
- can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke
- contribute to infertility
- speed up the aging process
- increase muscle and back pain
- stiff neck
- digestive problems
- sleep problems
Are you stressed? Check out the warning signs:
- inability to concentrate
- poor judgment
- seeing only the negative
- anxious or racing thoughts
- constant worrying
- irritability or short temper
- agitation, inability to relax
- feeling overwhelmed
- sense of loneliness and isolation
- depression or general unhappiness Physical Symptoms
- aches and pains
- diarrhea or constipation
- nausea, dizziness
- chest pain, rapid heartbeat
- loss of sex drive
- frequent colds Behavioral Symptoms
- eating more or less
- sleeping too much or too little
- isolating yourself from others
- procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
- using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
- memory problems
- nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
If you fall into these categories (and most of us do) find ways to limit or avoid stress in your life. If that’s not possible, find a good outlet.
Tip: For some it may be cooking, for others exercise is a great way to relieve stress. It may help to create a list of things to do each day so that you don’t let everything pile up at once. But don’t be so rigid that you can’t relax. Make time for yourself each day. Make YOU a priority.
For more information on stress and ways to manage your stress level go to http://helpguide.org/mental/stress_signs.htm