Stress is a natural part of life. You will be exposed to potential stressors almost daily. Failure to cope with those situations properly can have negative consequences for your health. In fact, most people who are stressed report a similar set of symptoms. Knowing the cause of them can help you find a solution that works for you so you can get on with your life in a happy, relaxed and relatively stress-free way.
1. You Are Having Trouble Sleeping
Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. If you find your sleeping patterns are falling well outside of those parameters, it may be due to stress. When you are exposed to stress, your body responds by producing hormones that elevate heart rate, dilate your pupils and prepare you for action. This results in the fight or flight response. And while it is perfectly natural, prolonged exposure to stress can interfere with your ability to fall or stay asleep.
2. You Have Been More Forgetful Than Normal
Memory loss is not a normal part of life. If you have noticed that you are having trouble remembering normal daily things, it could be a sign of stress. Keep in mind that this is not the same as simply forgetting where you put your vape pen, but rather these are things that disrupt your daily life, like forgetting to eat breakfast or how to perform something you have been doing for years.
3. Your Mind is Constantly Racing
When your mind is inundated with thoughts that come rapidly, one right after the other, it is known as racing thoughts. This is a common indicator of stress, anxiety and other mental health disorders. Identifying the cause of this phenomenon is key to stopping it. So, if you think your racing thoughts are caused by stress, learn strategies to manage them.
4. You Are Struggling With Concentration and Focus
Along with racing thoughts, prolonged or acute stress can lead to trouble with focus and concentration. This can actually increase your stress as you struggle to keep track of things going on in your life, setting up a negative feedback loop that is hard to break. If you notice that your focus has been off lately, and you think stress may be to blame, find a relaxation technique that you can employ. A basic progressive relaxation technique can be done in less than 10 minutes and get you back on track for the rest of the day.
Stress doesn’t have to rule your life. Learn to recognize symptoms like trouble sleeping and lack of concentration for what they are so you can address the root cause and reclaim your life.