Stress - business person stressed at office. Business woman holding coffee cup with STRESS written. Overworked and over caffeinated female businesswoman.

Incredible in every way, fighting off disease, warning us when things aren’t quite right. What an amazing feat! There is one common word we drop daily. It describes physical and emotional feelings we inhabit. Stress. Most commonly used figuratively, there are times when the physical effects may cripple us. Some struggle to cope or even function at all when under severe stress.

Our bodies are a marvel at protecting us – offering the ability to fight or flight. The ability to handle deadlines, wedding planning, phobias and many other threats are triggered within the body making us some pretty bad-ass human beings, allowing us to cool off and carry on when the threat has passed. The problem arises when these threats do not just subdue – that’s when our stress levels meet their maximum capacity, causing chronic stress.

As one can surely imagine, chronic stress is tremendously bad for our health. Affecting your heart, sleep patterns, anxiety levels and may even leave us feeling depressed. It’s imperative that we learn to recognize when we are suffering from chronic stress.

There are six warning signs:

1. Panic attacks:

Most often described as feeling like you have no control over your body, you may be left feeling quite insecure on how to deal with the situation. There are a few exercises which may soothe the process, one of them being breathing exercises. Try to find a quiet spot, place your one hand on your chest, the other on your heart and breathe deeply in and out through your nose. Originating form a yogic breathing method, it works wonders for people who experience panic attacks.

2. Racing thoughts:

Racing thoughts may leave us unable to focus on the task at hand. Surprising us at the most oddest of times, we may be at work, cooking or even having a conversation. Racing thoughts can be very disruptive to our mind. When struck, find a piece of paper and a pen. Make a list of five things you have achieved in that day. They can be simple like dropping the kids off at school to finishing a massive project at work. Simply writing them down breaks down the size of the tasks and makes things seem more manageable.

Tense muscles:

Tightening our muscles is another cope mechanism many utilize when under pressure. This puts unnecessary strain on joints, leaving us pained and in a worse state. Another great Yogic exercise is to practice clenching your muscles for one breath, then releasing them when exhaling. This is very beneficial in aiding the muscles to relax. Try this exercise over 10 breaths.

4. Stomach aches:

Anxiety is well known to physically affect us. In particular, our digestive system is usually the first to be targeted. Frequenting the toilet often, painful constipation and severe cramps are all related to anxiety and chronic stress. Try some soothing ginger or peppermint tea.

5. Insomnia:

This is another commonly reported symptom of chronic stress. Have you ever laid there in bed with a million thoughts racing through your mind? Scientists have proven that the blue light given off by our cellphones suppresses Melatonin, which is essentially the sleep hormone. Switch off your phone or leave it far from your reach at least 30 minutes before bedtime to ensure a good night’s sleep.

6. Weight gain:

Some experience a complete suppression of their appetite when under stress. The difference with chronic stress is that our bodies release adrenaline, which tells us that we need to eat to replenish lost reserves. Many people experience the munchies when chronically stressed which in turn causes weight gain.

If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t doubt your body. Often, our bodies send us messages like these to flag problems and we need to trust the warning signs. Take action and gain back control over your body. Be the amazingly perfect creation you know you can be!

HT: Life Advancer

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Incredible in every way, fighting off disease, warning us when things aren’t quite right. What an amazing feat! There is one common word we drop daily. It describes physical and emotional feelings we inhabit. Stress. Most commonly used figuratively, there are times when the physical effects may cripple us....