Hectic schedules, work pressures, worrying about your kids, you name it—there’s a slew of reasons why we get stressed. And sometimes, the symptoms of stress are so obvious, it’s debilitating. Sometimes it smacks us in the face and we have no choice but to deal with it. Other times, it’s not so clear.
If you’ve been living in a state of stress for a long period of time, there’s a good chance you don’t even recognize when you’re stressed anymore. Now, being stressed out is a habit, and you’ve gotten used to feeling like sh*t.
You can run, but you can’t hide from stress. It’s important to listen to what your body is trying to tell you now, so you don’t end up with chronic physical and mental health issues. Here are 10 uncommon signs and symptoms to pay attention to:
1. You’re extra emotional
Stress is a sneaky b****. It can mask itself as sadness, anger, irritability, or restlessness. If you’ve been feeling more emotional lately, and you can’t quite pinpoint why, (i.e., there’s not an obvious reason, like grief or loss) it could be due to stress.
2. You can’t keep your eyes open
Ever feel so overwhelmed that all you want to do is take a nap? That’s because being stressed is exhausting! It can really wear you out, physically and emotionally, to the point where it’s hard for you to stay awake. So, tune in to your energy levels and notice what your body is trying to tell you. The occasional rejuvenating afternoon nap is normal, but if you find yourself using naps as a crutch, it’s time to get to the root of the issue: stress.
3. Your period is totally out of whack
Stress interferes with the part of the brain that controls the hormones that regulate your cycle, which could explain why you’ve seen changes in your period. For some women, it might be irregular, or heavier than usual. Others may even lose their period altogether, a condition known as secondary amenorrhea. These things are important to pay attention to—the period is a window into women’s health!
4. You’ve got tummy troubles
Nausea, heartburn, indigestion? Stress could be to blame. Stress and anxiety activate the “fight or flight” response in your central nervous system, shutting down blood flow and proper digestion. If you regularly turn to antacids or Pepto Bismol, it might be time to try other stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditating or simply breathing.
5. You feel like you might faint
Feeling light-headed? You might want to consider getting that stress in check. When you’re stressed out, your brain releases hormones that narrow the blood vessels, raise the heart rate and cause rapid, shallow breathing, leaving you feeling dizzy or lightheaded. When this happens, take a break from what you’re doing, sit down and breathe.
6. You have a headache. All. The. Time.
You know that dull pain, tightness, or pressure that feels like a band around your head? That’s called a tension headache, and it’s likely caused by stress. So if you’ve been reaching for the Advil more lately, maybe you should try reaching for Stress Fighter instead. Taking Stress Fighter daily will reduce stress symptoms like those throbbing headaches, and enhance your mood and energy!
7. You have jaw pain
Many people clench their jaw and grind their teeth at night when they’re stressed out. If you’re waking up with jaw pain, this is not something to ignore. If left untreated, teeth grinding can result in chipped or loose teeth—EEK! Check your thoughts as you go to bed; rather than replaying the day’s events or going through tomorrow’s to-do list, try a guided gratitude meditation.
8. You’re having weird dreams
Speaking of sleep, stress could be the reason you’ve been having weird dreams lately. Again—you can run but you can’t hide from stress. The stresses of the day tend to follow us to bed at night and play out in our dreams.
9. You feel frozen
Sometimes stress can feel paralyzing. When overwhelmed, the body might go into dissociation mode, a disconnect between your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, perceptions, memories, and identity. If you experience this, it’s time to treat your stress.
10. Your hair is falling out
You’ve probably heard people say that stress is making them go gray, but it turns out that excessive stress causes hair loss, more than anything else. A few strands in your hairbrush or the shower drain is nothing to worry about, but if you’re pulling out hair by the fistful, then stress could be the culprit. Work to lower your stress levels by removing stressors from your life (if possible) and incorporate stress-fighting foods, get regular exercise, and take your Stress Fighter daily.