“Worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe,” said Mark Twain, and while we often have trouble figuring out when the time is to start to tune out the worries, when worries become stress the problems increase.
Here are 9 hidden ways being overly stressed is demonstrated in your day-to-day life.
1. Lack of interest in sex.
Loss of libido or interest in sex is affected uniquely by stress in that the hormones secreted by the exhaustion of stress effectively shut off the hormones signaling playtime for you and your partner. Keep your stress levels out of the sack by talking about what’s bothering you beforehand.
2. Hair loss.
Humans usually shed about 100 hairs per day. When we’re stressed out, our body reacts in sometimes mysterious ways, like increasing that shedding cycle tenfold, and having it all happen in the same place. If you’re losing hair in mass amounts you should seek a physician’s help for the hair loss, and a therapist’s help for the emotional stress you’re likely experiencing.
3. Your mood is erratic.
Mood swings are normal, but laughing one minute and crying the next is not. If you feel overwhelmed emotionally, you may want to reach for professional help, or the help of some supportive friends or family members. Talking it out is often all it takes for your mood to stabilize.
4. You’re incredibly impatient.
Loss of patience with or tolerance for others is one major indicator that your stress is affecting you in ways that are unhealthy. Talk with a friend, hash it out with your partner, or enlist the help of a therapist to get some help handling the stress that’s causing you to lash out unnecessarily.
5. You can’t seem to shut your brain off.
The constancy of worrying seems to be just apace with the modern world, but if you’re developing tics or odd habits to deal with the worry, or are constantly checking your phone or computer & cannot relax, you might not be able to shut your brain off, and this is all due to underlying stress.
6. You have weight issues.
Beyond the normal 2-3 pounds a week or so, your weight is fluctuating way up and way down. Stress can make you forget to eat; worry hormones can get you to overeat. If you’re having major weight fluctuations it might be time to see a therapist.
7. You can’t sit still.
If sitting down is a fidget-fest and your mind is constantly wandering, you might be a little overly stressed out. Stress and relaxation are natural enemies, and if one has taken over it might be time to give it the heave-ho and enlist a friend to talk with about your stresses, so that you can sit still, refocus and relax.
8. You’re sleeping poorly.
Whether you’re unable to get to bed at night, waking in the middle of the night or sleeping too late in the morning, sleep is one of the first, and most necessary, parts of life to be affected by stress. If your sleep cycles are out of whack, that’s a pretty good indicator that you’re overstressed.
9. You’re in physical pain.
Stress starts to hurt us pretty quickly: it upsets our stomachs, increases the volume of our ulcers, and amplifies every snap and crack and twist of muscle, bone and sinew. Stress physically hurts and when we get to a point where we are in pain without any kind of sports injury or other muscle injury, what we’re feeling then is often simply the injury of too much stress on our bodies.
Do any of these apply to you? It might be time to get in touch with a mental health professional.