Stress affects our bodies in so many ways, and if left untreated, can have wide-ranging effects on our mood, emotions and physical wellbeing. Everything from teeth-grinding to hiccups is an indication you’re suffering from stress. Being able to identify symptoms of stress for what they are, will help you to address the causes of stress and get back to a happier, healthier you.
1.You feel tired all the time
Stress can be exhausting. When you’re stressed your body releases hormones to help you act and react quicker. Your heart rate accelerates, and you breathe faster. This is fine for when you do need to move, but when your body is constantly primed for danger, this constant strain can be extremely tiring.
Of course, stress can also prevent you from sleeping, especially if you find yourself laying awake at night trying to find a solution to whatever is causing you to feel stressed in the first place.
2.You’re grinding your teeth at night
Staying with sleep and stress, teeth grinding is a sign your subconscious is having difficulty letting go. When you do finally fall asleep, your subconscious mind picks up where your conscious mind left off, and continues to mull over problems, and this plays out in your mouth. Teeth grinding, or bruxism as it is also known, can cause dental problems, jaw pain and headaches.
3.You’re prone to headaches
Which brings us on to stress and headaches. Sometimes known as stress headaches, tension headaches are brought on by stress. They are experienced periodically by one third of adults and usually involve pain on either side of the head. They can last for anything from half an hour to a few hours, and there is generally a feeling of pressure on either side of the head and tightness in the back of the neck and shoulders.
4.Your tummy is upset
Ever heard of the brain-gut axis? It’s the constant communication between your brain and your gut and the reason why stress and stressful situations can have a negative impact on your digestive system.
We hiccup when we laugh, we don’t tend to think of hiccups as a sign of stress or distress, but hiccups also occur in stressful situations, like public speaking. Nausea and queasiness, are also signs of stress. When stressed the body tenses, adrenalin floods the body, your muscles are instructed to get ready to run and your stomach and gut are told to shut down. Again, these are all useful responses for when you need to flee an actual threat, but not helpful on an ongoing basis. Stomach pain, cramping, belching, trapped wind, heartburn, diarrhoea and constipation can all be stress-related and should be checked out if they show no sign of relenting.
5.You’re eating too much, too little or unhealthily
It’s common for people who are stressed to eat too much, too little or to eat unhealthily, and again, that’s largely because our brain does clever things to help us cope with stress.
People who are in a stressed state in the short term may lose their appetite. This is because the part of the brain called the hypothalamus produces a corticotropin-releasing hormone, which suppresses appetite.
But more commonly, chronic stress or ongoing stress, has the opposite effect. The brain releases cortisol to help us cope with stress, and cortisol increases your appetite, especially for sweet and starchy foods. If you pay close attention to your body’s signals you’ll notice it’s that much harder to resist sugary or carb-laden foods when you’re feeling stressed.
And of course, these foods are called convenience foods for a reason. Stressed people are often short on time, which further increases the appeal for unhealthy, fast foods.
Need help with stress?
A.Vogel's Stress Relief Daytime provides extracts of freshly harvested, organically grown Valerian and Hops. A traditional herbal medicinal product, it can be used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress and mild anxiety.
Unlike most other stress relief remedies containing natural herbs, Stress Relief Daytime comes in the form of a herbal liquid tincture.
Take 10 to 20 drops once or twice a day, diluted in 5-10ml fruit juice or water according to taste, to help you cope better with the stresses around you. Stress Relief Daytime is not known to be habit forming.