5 Tell Tale Signs You Could Be More Stressed Than You Think


This article originally appeared on health and fitness blog, Eat Drink and Be Skinny

Understatement of the year: life is stressful. Between relationships, work and everything in between, it’s incredibly hard to evade anxiety and worry.

The most effective ways to tackle stress head on are:

– Clean Eating
– Exercise (even a quick walk around your office’s neighborhood!)
– Journaling
– Reading
– Meditating

You can also learn or identify overlooked signs that you’re stressing before you reach the point of nervous breakdown or long-term health conditions. Keep an eye out for these signs and learn to combat them one by one:

You suddenly have daily stomach aches.

While stress is typically associated with neck and backaches, it also impacts your digestive system. High stress triggers your nervous system into overdrive – and your nervous system is linked directly to your tummy. Cue stomach aches, nausea, cramping and/or vomiting. Sip on ginger tea, which is soothing for both tummy troubles and anxiety.

Your skin care regimen hasn’t changed, but you’re having acne flare ups.

High stress boosts your levels of sex hormones called androgens. Skin is sensitive to the increase in androgens, which can bring on the breakouts. Yuck. Make sure your moisturizer is non-pore-clogging, and consult a dermatologist if the issue persists for specialty skin care and medicine.

Your mouth hurts for no apparent reason.

Waking up with a sore jaw and achy teeth? You may be grinding your teeth while you sleep – a common reaction to stress. Take a bath, put the screens away, do some bedtime yoga and read before catching some ZZZ’s to ensure restful sleep and to give your jaw a break. Still sore? Contact your dentist about a preventative mouth guard to wear while you sleep!

You are ravenous…all the time.

When you are stressed, your nervous system enters fight-or-flight mode. When your adrenaline levels lower back down, your body sends signals to your brain that you need to refuel. Often, this comfort comes in the form of high-fat and high-sugar snacks that provide temporary satiation but no real energy. Keep your sweet tooth in check and opt for healthier snacks if you get the urge to refuel. Most importantly, make sure to hydrate.

You feel drained and can’t concentrate.

When your mind is racing with worry and to-do lists, the quantity and quality of your sleep is impacted. Consequently, your memory, mood and muscle repair are all affected. You wake up feeling drained, irritable and unable to concentrate. Set up a comfortable, relaxing environment in your bedroom to improve sleep quality (think candles, soft bedding and lavender aromatherapy abound) and make time to hit at least seven hours a night.

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