Not all stress is bad. In fact, in some situations, stress can be what causes you to take necessary action. For example, it can drive you to change your life for the better because you can no longer take being stressed out. The fight or flight response, or the stress response, is a biological survival mechanism that prepares you to take action in the presence of a perceived threat to your life and safety. Chemical reactions inside the body increase oxygen and nutrient flow to the muscles, speeding reaction time and increasing physical strength. This reaction is meant to last only as long as the threat exists. If it persists after the threat is past, or becomes a long term state for the body, then stress becomes bad and can be harmful to your health. Prolonged high levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can cause changes that contribute to high blood pressure, storage of fat in the abdomen, certain cancers and etc. Everyone responds to stress differently. However, there are some tell-tale signals that your body sends that will let you know that something needs to change.
Aching Head and Body
One of the things that happens is that your muscles tighten in readiness for quick action, whether it is to flee from imminent danger or to stand and fight it off. When the body remains in constant readiness for action that never comes, the muscles form knots and tighten further, causing pain. That is why it is not uncommon for people to have neck, shoulder, back pain and headaches.
Sick To Your Stomach
Ranging from feeling like there are butterflies fluttering in your belly to feeling like you are going to throw up, feeling sick to your stomach is a common reaction to stress. This happens because as the body prepares to defend itself, it shunts nutrients and oxygen away from those areas not essential to that task. Blood and oxygen flow is slowed to the digestive system during times of high stress, leading to those ill feelings.
Others may make themselves sick to their stomachs by eating out of anxiety. Instead of seeing food as a source of energy, the mind starts to see it as a coping mechanism causing an increase in weight and a loss of self esteem.
The inability to get a good night’s sleep is another hallmark of high stress levels. Racing thoughts that run through your mind can keep you awake or cause you to awaken numerous times during the night. This can leave you feeling constantly tired and overwhelmed. Insomnia can also cause you to lose your focus as well as your ability to think clearly making you lose productivity and drive.
Those involuntary tics and twitches that you may feel in your muscles may also indicate stress. Like muscle aches, these tics are also related to your muscles staying in constant readiness to leap into action.
Short temper and Irritability
Do you find yourself snapping at your spouse for no reason? Having a short temper and feeling irritable is another indicator that you have too much stress in your life. This is a product of the high levels of adrenaline flowing through your body.
The above list is not inclusive of all of the symptoms of being over-stressed. It is just a list of the most common reactions people have. If you find that you are experiencing one of more of the above, you may want to consider doing something that will help you to relieve that stress. Hypnosis is often used with great success. During your hypnosis session, you’ll enter a highly relaxed state in which your mind is able to find solutions or at the very least, help you to cope better. Hypnosis gives you the ability to bring yourself to feeling calm and comfortable again.
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