7 Warning Signs of Stress and 9 Simple Ways to Minimize It

We all experience stress, but left unchecked, stress can be very dangerous. Prolonged stress can have a negative affect on your brain by producing hormones that can activate depression, anxiety and anger; killing memory abilities and robbing you of joy.


According to Better Health there are 7 warning signs of stress:


(1) Strained Relations with Other People

To date, a deterioration in your quality of interpersonal relationships is one warning sign of stress. Unfortunately, this particular one of several stress symptoms has a tendency to go unnoticed. It can be easy to write off situations like avoidance of others and communication struggles as no big deal. However, these are actually serious indicators of emerging or present stress. Stress management is deeply imperative before stress becomes chronic and especially when your interpersonal relationships start to suffer.


(2) Out-of-Character Behavior

As human beings, the quality of our behavior can provide warning signs of stress. When determining whether or not you may be on the cusp of stress or chronic stress, ask yourself if any of your behavior has been out-of-character lately. When your behavior shifts or changes from what is typical of you, this is a sign that stress is either present or on the horizon. If you notice out-of-character within yourself, taking a step back, pausing, and determining the source of stress is always advisable. Ideally, you’ll also want to develop healthy stress management techniques; this can help prevent the situation from getting any worse.


(3) Consistently Negative Emotions

No one is happy or in good spirits all of the time. That being said, if you find yourself constantly feeling stressed, irritable, on edge, or otherwise unhappy, this is one of the leading warning signs of stress. The emotional impacts of stress are well-documented, but this type of harm doesn’t happen overnight. Being mindful of how you are feeling more often than not is highly advisable; your emotions can tell you a lot about yourself, including how you’re doing and reacting to the outside world around you.


(4) Trouble with Sleeping

Because of the impact that stress can have on your mental and emotional health, one of the most critical signs to be aware of is trouble with sleeping. Sadly, restlessness is not an uncommon thing to come from stress. If left unchecked, problems with getting a good night’s rest can become even more threatening when stress turns into chronic stress. The necessary health benefits of sleep are very well-documented. While trouble with sleeping is a warning sign of stress, it also carries the potential to worsen existing problems. A lack of proper rest can impair your judgment, place a strain on your interpersonal relationships, and even complicate the means of processing information. If you’re struggling with sleep, take this as a serious indicator of necessary change.


(5) Concerns from Those Closest to You

If other people around you are letting you know that you seem off or otherwise not like yourself, this is often a warning sign of stress. Of course, stress levels can vary, but sometimes, people who are closest to you can notice that something’s wrong before you do. Feedback from other people is not always accurate, though and at the end of the day, it’s up to you to be in tune with how you’re doing. However, if other people are consistently concerned or worried about you, this something to be mindful of. Stress symptoms are plentiful and you might be exhibiting symptoms without even realizing it. This is yet another reason why your interpersonal relationships are so critical.


(6) Lack of Interest in Hobbies or Activities

Hobbies and recreational activities are critical parts of living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. If you find that your interest in these pursuits is declining, this is an important warning sign of stress. Lack of interest in hobbies or activities that you typically enjoy can be indicative of chronic stress or even depression.


Hobbies and activities are important, but a healthy state of mind and wellbeing are necessary to reap the benefits. If you’re concerned about whether or not you’re feeling stressed, ask yourself when you last spent time on a hobby or leisurely endeavor.


(7) Lack of Overall Energy

Stress is inherently draining and chronic stress is even worse. If you find yourself constantly lacking energy or feeling sluggish, this is an important stress symptom to be aware of. No one is always upbeat or energetic and one bad day doesn’t mean that you’re on the cusp of stress. However, when you are constantly feeling strained or depleted day in and day out, this means there’s an issue. As troubling as this may seem, nipping stress in the bud now can save you from dealing with even worse issues later down the line. It’s important to not only recognize stress symptoms but to also develop constructive stress management techniques.


9 Things You Can Do to Minimize Stress in Your Life

  1. Notice which of the people in your life inspires you and which ones drain you; establish some boundaries and modify who you are spending your time with.

  2. If things get overwhelming, give yourself permission to leave the situation, take a breather and come back to it later.

  3. Know your limits – don’t agree to plans and invites that you know you have no energy for.

  4. Refrain from complaining for one whole day and see how much better you feel afterwards.

  5. Don’t be afraid to spend some time alone with your thoughts. Put down your phone, turn off the TV, and just sit still for a while.

  6. Superwomen are fictional, so stop trying to be everything to everybody.

  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

  8. Spend 15 minutes writing a list of everything that’s bothering you then throw the list away.

  9. Go through your social media feeds and delete any accounts that frustrate you, don’t inspire you or no longer serve your interests.

Take a free online Stress Assessment on Be Mindful Online to measure the stress in your life. Click Here

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