Too much stress is bad. And when we’re too stressed, our bodies react to that stress hormone and have some pretty unpleasant changes. Unfortunately, we have gotten very very good at ignoring our bodies and pretending like however we’re feeling is fine or just a part of life. But it’s not! Lots of times our bodies acting out is their way of telling us we have to change something in our lives.
For me, I went through a period last year where I was so insanely stressed I didn’t really know how to function as a person. It started April 2017 but really upped in August, when I worked 31 days in a row, most days well over eight hours. I didn’t have a full team from August basically until January, which meant that even as things slowly started to get better, I was never able to get that time back, because I had a new team to train. On top of that, I was basically partying harder than I had since I was like 23, because if I was alone in my house, I was so exhausted from stress that I couldn’t function, so I decided it would be better to just go out instead.
In January, things got better, or what I called “back to normal.” Since things were less insane, I assumed it was all fine. I was still exhausted, I still felt like crap, but since I was only working like 45 hours a week, everything must be good, right?
Wrong! At the end of March, I went on vacation with a couple friends, and it was literally life changing. For the first time in a full year, I wasn’t under an insane amount of stress. That knot in my stomach finally let up. The weird black hairs on my chin stopped growing in. The eczema behind my ears cleared up. I didn’t have a single headache. I was like HOLY SHIT THIS IS WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO FEEL LIKE ALL THE TIME. So I quit my job, moved halfway across the world to be back home, and started my own business. I’m not asking you to do all that, but I AM asking you to listen to your body.
So here are a bunch of signs that too much stress is affecting your body.
- Headaches, especially tension headaches
- Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw
- Tight muscles or muscles spasms
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Heartburn, stomach pain, or nausea
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Forgetfulness or trouble learning new things
- Acne, psoriasis, or eczema
- Depression or anxiety
- Weakened immune system (aka you get sick real easily all the time)
- Decreased sex drive
- High blood pressure
- Rashes or hives
You may not be experiencing all of them (I really hope you aren’t – that’s too many things!), and it’s very possible that some can be attributed to something else besides stress in your life, but. If you are experiencing some. Please please PLEASE take some time and think about where the stresses are coming from in your life. Too much stress for too long can lead to strokes, heart attacks, infertility, diabetes, and an overall shorter life expectancy.
Do yourself a favor and make changes now.