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What are Symptoms of Stress: What will Kill You and What will Excite You!

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What are symptoms of Stress?

Stress, stress, stress….. Just seeing the word puts me on edge, gets my heart racing, and makes me feel like the walls in the room are closing in on me. Okay now I’m stressed out.  Won’t be able to sleep tonight. I’ll snap at my wife.  I feel like I can’t get anything done.  What a worthless loser.

Wait where did the day go? What did I do today?  Wait, what day is it even? I didn’t get anything done that I needed to…  I can’t wait til the weekend… Crap, I got that thing I need to do Saturday!  And I have to mow the lawn… and I have to finish that project for Monday…

Plus, I was going to workout.  I have to workout…  It’s been days since I’ve worked out..  But, I have to clean the house too…it’s a mess.. I’m sweating just sitting in my air conditioned office…man now I have a headache..

This sucks!  Life shouldn’t be this hard..  I shouldn’t have to put up with all of this.. Oh no my boss just text me…

Oh what the hell I might as well just give up!!!  I need a cigarette!! 

Everyone experiences stress from time to time, but for some of us this scenario is all too familiar.  Many of us experience symptoms of chronic stress! 

Stress is actually a normal and common response from our bodies to all of life’s pressures and demands. Stress is like wine and chocolate. Good for you in small doses, but terrible for you in larger quantities.

There are two types of Stress: Distress and Eustress

Distress is one of the many symptoms of chronic stress.  It takes over your life when you become a slave to your schedule, when you have way more to do than time to do it, when life is one big never ending to do list, when your racing from one thing to the next, or when your unsure of how you are going to survive all of life’s pressures.

Distress is caused by a combination of pressures, people, events, beliefs, money, and emotions in your life. Distress will suck your life dry of any happiness, success, physical health, emotional well-being, or healthy relationships.  Almost half of the population suffers from an emotional disorder relating to prolonged and severe stress.

When recognized and dealt with early on, Stress can be dealt with fairly easily.  Unfortunately, most of us are unaware of the negative symptoms of stress until we’re almost burned out.

What are Symptoms of Stress?

Short-term symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Elevated Heart Beat
  • Increased Sweating
  • Cool Skin
  • Cold Hands and Feet
  • Mood Swings
  • Recent Unhealthy Eating Habits
  • Poor Memory
  • Poor Concentration
  • Pessimistic Attitude
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Constant Urination
  • Feelings of Nausea or Butterflies in your stomach
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Tense Muscles
  • Dry Mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Problems with Digestion
  • Elevated Blood Pressure
  • Decreased Sex Drive
  • Constantly feeling Tired or Worn out

Destructive Symptoms of Chronic Stress

Chronic stress can interfere with the normal functioning of the body’s immune system.  Stressed individuals have an increased vulnerability to catching an illness and are more susceptible to allergic, autoimmune, or cardiovascular diseases.

Furthermore, symptoms of chronic stress often prompts people to respond in unhealthy ways such as smoking, drinking alcohol, eating poorly, or becoming physically inactive. This damages the body, in addition to the wear and tear of the stress itself.

What are long-term symptoms of stress?

  • All of the Short Term Symptoms
  • Aches and Pains
  • Frequent Colds and Viruses
  • Depression
  • Sexual Disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Lethargy
  • Obesity
  • Premature Aging
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Drinking Alcohol/smoking
  • Taking Medications
  • Unhealthy Eating Habits
  • Heart Disease
  • Ulcers
  • Restlessness
  • Skin Conditions

It appears that to eradicate all stress from your life all you have to do is lock yourself in a room, not have any relationships, never set goals, avoid all criticism, never take any chances, and definitely not make any changes in your life.

Okay maybe I went too far…  That doesn’t sound healthy either.

Stress you Want!!  No Really!!

Eustress is healthy stress that contributes to your growth and increases your performance level. Eustress helps you to get into a motivated state, can help you focus on the task at hand, and can lead to new experiences, skills, beliefs, and personal growth.

Eustress is the uneasiness we feel any time we step outside of our comfort zone, when you feel uncertain while making a positive change in your life, or the stress your body feels while working out to improve your physical conditioning.

It’s important to minimize the stress in your life and to increase Eustress when appropriate. Anytime your looking to make a change, grow, and evolve you can expect Eustress.

Action Questions

  1. What are symptoms of stress that you are currently experiencing? 
  2. What concerns do you have about stress in your life?
  3. Are there other problems that stress teams up with in your life?  (ex. Depression, stress, money issues, children, in-laws, etc…)
  4. What concerns do those close to you have about stress in your life?
  5. How does stress get you to act differently than you normally would? (ex. snap at your co-workers, make lots of excuses, not try or do something, perform poorly etc..)
  6. What does the voice of stress whisper in your ear?  How is it so convincing?  (ex. I can’t stand this, I must perform perfectly, I can’t finish all of this, If I don’t handle everything I’ll fail, etc…)
  7. Who in your life supports stress taking you over? (a boss, a friend, a family member ,etc….)
  8. Where did you learn how to respond to stress?
  9. 80% of your stress is caused by 20% of the actions, thoughts, events and people in your life.  Identify the toxic 20% of your life that leads to the greatest amount of stress.
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