You'd think that stress symptoms are hard to miss. But we're often in denial. Chances are you know if you're badly in need of relief but do not know how to go about getting it. So here's some ammunition to justify taking a break. And there's nothing quite so convincing as physical warning signs. Here are five that tell you to take it easy already.
1. Are you overweight? Are you embarrassed by too much belly fat ?
For the longest time, people used to think that stress causes weight loss, not weight gain. That may be true for some, but most of us tend to put on the pounds. And not just anywhere. Cortisol, the stress hormone, literally causes the body to accumulate the wobbly stuff right up front and center and makes it almost impossible to take it back off.
2. Do you have trouble falling asleep or sleeping long enough?
Once again, sleeping trouble can be a sign of too much stress. And since sleep is so crucial for recovery, stress-induced insomnia often starts a vicious cycle.
3. Do you have heartburn, hyperacidity, GERD, or indigestion?
If you're plagued by heartburn, GERD, or indigestion, maybe what you need is not another dose of antacids but a massage and a nice hot bath, not necessarily in that order. And a day off.
4. Do you get sick a lot?
When someone sneezes at the office, are you the first to catch it? Do you have allergies or skin rashes? These are all signs that your immune system has begun to suffer. It's time to take a legal U-turn.
5. Is your blood pressure too high?
Elevated blood pressure is a natural extension of long-term (and even short-term) stress. Unfortunately, this is one symptom that you may not be able to detect on your own unless you're in the habit of checking your own blood pressure.
Now you're going to think I'm a bit nuts, but guess what? If you're under a lot of stress, do your heart and your blood vessels a favor and get yourself a personal blood pressure measuring gadget. I mean it, especially if you already know your blood pressure is borderline high. Or if you have a family history of hypertension. You can find blood pressure meters at any pharmacy or drugstore. They're way cheaper and less hard on your system than blood pressure medication.
How many of these symptoms do you have ?
If you have even one of them, give yourself a break. You're human. Your body is the only one you'll ever have in this lifetime. Treat it accordingly and make it last. As a bonus, you'll enjoy your life a whole lot more as well.