How to Recognize Stress

For some of us, stress is easy to recognize. We feel a sense of overwhelm, and we know we need to either change our direction or move away from the source of the problem.screaming woman

But sometimes, stress sneaks up on us and we may not recognize it so readily. That’s when we can check out these symptoms:

  •   I’m exhausted yet I can’t sleep.

When you know you’re tired and you catch yourself saying, “I’m so tired.” You may be stressed.

When you lie down at night but your mind is racing with a million things to do, you may be reacting to stress.

  • I keep forgetting things.

This is a scary place to be, because sometimes our minds immediately go to, “Is it Alzheimer’s? Is it dementia? Oh God – I hope not!”

It probably isn’t something as drastic as a brain problem. When you forget where you’ve laid your keys or you can’t pull up someone’s name – it may simply be an overload of stress.

Sometimes, all you need is a day off.

  • I keep getting sick.

Stress can affect the immune system and leave us vulnerable to the germs and bacteria all around us. If you’re constantly fighting a cold, you may be stressed.

Stress is particularly adept at attacking digestive issues. When your stomach feels wound in knots and/or you’re visiting the bathroom every thirty minutes – your body may be reacting to additional stress.

The best way to remedy this symptom is to rest. Force yourself to take a day off from work. Find a quiet place to rejuvenate. Drink lots of water and eat veggies.

  • I’m self-medicating.

Have a craving for chocolate? Ice cream? Potato chips? Just started a nice bottle of Merlot and now it’s empty?

Stress can often chase us toward some type of coping mechanism and usually, these aren’t the healthiest choices.

So if you’re mindlessly eating or drinking, if you’re compulsively buying more clothes than you need, if you’re searching for any type of self-medication – you may be stressed.

  • I’m overly emotional.

As women, we tend to think and react emotionally, but when we find ourselves overly emotional – crying at the simplest things – we may be stressed.

Tears are an important release and we often need to cry, to unload some of the pressure and/or to grieve in a healthy way.

But if you find yourself crying at every commercial or yelling at someone who doesn’t deserve it – check the stresses of your life.

These are some of the possible symptoms, and the ways we deal with stress may determine how we overcome the root of it.

So be aware of how stress may be affecting you. And when it seems to overwhelm you, read a Psalm, phone a friend or contact us at GateWay of Hope.

We can help.

©2015 GateWay of Hope