Are you stressed? Do you know stress is one of the most common reasons for many major biological issues we face today – even unexpected weight gain?
Stress can be defined as a state of mental or emotional strain whenever something – say a change that we can’t cope with – happens. Stress can be generated in response to any stimulus that requires you to adjust to the change, and it isn’t just a mental response. A lot of physical changes also take place in the body: for example, an increased heart rate.
But you must also know what to do when you find yourself repeatedly under a lot of stress, especially if you don’t always notice it.
We might not think that we are too stressed, probably, because we’re used to it.
Here are some signs and symptoms you should check to know if you’re excessively stressed:
Acne is a visible sign of stress. This can be explained by the fact that stress makes us touch our face more often and leave bacteria on it. Studies have confirmed that acne could be related to high stress.
However, more investigation and research are needed to establish a link between acne and stress.
Stress may also contribute to headaches.
A study concluded that headaches were preceded by a stressful event in about 45 percent of subjects.
Another study showed that higher stress levels were related to a higher number of headache days in a month.
3. Chronic pain
Pains and aches can also result from high levels of stress.
Studies have shown that higher levels of daily stress were related to an increased number of days when pain was reported.
Some studies have also shown that higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol could be associated with chronic pain.
4. Getting sick frequently
It isn’t breaking news that stress can take a toll on your immune system, thus causing higher susceptibility to infections.
Several studies have shown that stressed individuals were more susceptible to developing infections.
However, more research is needed to confirm this complex association between immunity and stress.
5. Insomnia and Decreased energy
Decreased energy levels and chronic fatigue can also be a consequence of prolonged stress.
A study of 2,483 people found a strong association between fatigue and high levels of stress.
Apart from this strong correlation, stress may also disturb sleep, cause insomnia, which drains the stressed person of energy. As one study showed, a high number of stressful events was linked to a higher risk of insomnia.
6. Libido changes
Stress can also cause havoc with your sex life as it has been found to change your sex drive.
A small study measured 30 women’s arousal while watching a sensuous film, and it was revealed that those who had chronic stress experienced less arousal.
Other studies have also shown similar results.
7. Digestive problems
I’m not sure if you’ve experienced this, but diarrhea and constipation can also follow if you’re always stressed.
A study found that children who were exposed to stressful life events had an increased risk of constipation.
Stress may specifically affect people with digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which are characterized by stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
8. Changes in appetite
Stress can divide people into two groups according to how their appetite changes when they’re stressed. You either tend to eat a lot or feel like eating nothing at all.
A study of college students revealed that about 81 percent of people reported changes in their appetite while encountering stress; 62 percent of which had increased appetite whereas the rest had decreased appetite. In another study, people confessed to eating without being hungry.
A change in appetite could be the reason for weight fluctuations during stressful periods. For example, a study of 1,355 individuals found that stress was linked with the weight gain in overweight individuals.
There’s also some evidence that chronic stress may cultivate depression.
A study of 816 majorly depressed women found that the onset of the disease was associated with both chronic and acute stress.
Another study of 240 adolescents found that higher levels of stress were linked with higher depressive symptoms.
Please note that the studies mentioned above don’t look at other factors that could be involved or contribute to a particular condition. And, very often, a variety of factors and causes contribute to the development of a disease, and a single cause cannot be blamed for it.
To not let stress be one of the causes of poor health, try to switch to activities that are effortlessly fun and can divert your mind and body away from stress.