On the job or outside work stress is arguably one of the most silent killers on the planet, largely because people don’t realize something is going wrong, or they refuse to act on it.
But why does stress contribute to so many aspects of ill health, ultimately leading to death?
It is because often it is untraceable. You may not realize you are suffering from stress overload.
Interested to know if your stress is rapidly becoming out of control? Look for the following tell-tale signs:
Unexplained Aches And Pain About The Body
A little pain here and there is normal, and should be nothing to get worried over; but it can spell a worrying trend when it occurs too often. And this is the case with being overly stressed at work or even worse – all the time.
Muscular pains most commonly occur around the back, neck or shoulder areas, and may be attributed to poor sleep patterns, although it is not always the case. Medications to treat the pain may only yield temporary relief, and you should not rely upon them as a long-term solution.
Frequent Colds And Infections
One thing associated with high stress levels is the negative effect on immunity. Cortisol suppresses the immune system and leaves the body wide open to infection. This is especially troublesome during this pandemic, and necessitates that extra precautions be taken (such as increasing anti-oxidant food consumption).
Poor Sleep Patterns
Insomnia is usually one of the first signs to appear when you are over-stressed, as cortisol does not work by itself. In fact, it recruits the neurochemicals adrenalin and noradrenalin, which enhance awareness, and energy levels.
This is an important function in the mornings when you need that “get up and go” boost to get to work, but not at night when you should be unwinding. Use of heavy stimulant based supplements (such as caffeine) too late at night will cause this to occur.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure involves multiple pathways all experiencing dysfunction for its development, with cortisol happy to oblige. High blood pressure in this case is precipitated by increased retention of water (which increases blood volume), faster heart rate, and blood vessel constriction. All these factors increase blood pressure, so you need to take care to manage cortisol and stress levels.
Frequent Outbursts or Mood Swings
It can be hard to maintain a level head when stress levels are high, causing you to lash out to anyone or simple issues at work that seemingly irritates you. This is not normal behavior, especially if you are generally very level headed. If it does occur, it may be best to reduce work load, and spend more time with family and loved ones in an attempt to relax.
Depression Or Feelings Of Inadequacy
Stress can seriously affect your emotional well-being, especially since it can tear apart relationships with associates. You are likely to be irritable, picking fights, or feel pressured to perform. This can amount to depression, anxiety or feelings of disappointment. Depression is sometimes difficult to diagnose, especially if your organization does not provide a strong support system.
If you find yourself experiencing one or more of the symptoms above with increasing frequency, it is time to take a step back from the burden you have placed on your shoulder. Sometimes, a short vacation, weekend getaway or just a simple trek in the outdoors can do wonders for your wellbeing.