It’s true that stress can help motivate you or get you out of a tough situation, but how much is a normal amount of stress, and how do you know if you are experiencing an unhealthy amount of it? Whether you are looking for ways to destress from work, or trying to find out if you are overstressed, it’s important that you know what too much stress looks like, and what you can do to ease your mind.
How Much Is Too Much?
Yes, stress serves a function, but if stress is affecting your relationships, health, or ability to enjoy life, you may be experiencing too much stress. Inability to reduce work anxiety or difficulty unwinding when you get home can add another stressor: the stress of managing your stress. When all this builds up over time it may be hard to tell if you are handling your stress healthily or if you are actually experiencing stress levels that may be damaging to your health, happiness, and quality of life.
How To Spot Too Much Stress
Sustained stress at high levels can lead to depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders if nothing is done to ease your load. If you are worried about being overstressed, the first thing you can do is know what too much stress looks like:
One of the most common signs of excess stress is chronic headaches. If you find that your headaches are preceded by stressful events, or increase in regularity during stressful times, your headaches may be a stress response.
Studies show that there is a correlation between stress levels and acne, indicating that higher stress could contribute to acne.
- Frequent Sickness:
High stress can damage your immune system, making it harder to fight off colds and illnesses that may be going around.
- Decreased Energy and Insomnia:
Chronic fatigue and inability to sleep may be a result of being overstressed. Laying in bed trying to destress from work or going over your day on repeat can make it hard to get rest, which in turn increases stress levels.
- Digestive Issues and Appetite Changes:
While a packed schedule might be changing your diet, if you are also experiencing increasing digestive issues, stress may be the culprit. High stress levels can aggravate existing conditions such as Irritable Bowel System and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Similarly, stress can cause your appetite to increase or to fall off completely, which can result in overeating or malnutrition.
Studies show that sustaining high levels of stress can lead to depressive symptoms such low energy levels, mood swings, and a decreased ability to enjoy parts of your daily life. While the studies have yet to prove this relationship, there is evidence that chronic stress is closely related to depressive symptoms.
What You Can Do About It
If your stress is causing one or more of these symptoms, or if you simply want to reduce work anxiety, you may benefit from stress reducing practices. Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation are recommended for people with abnormally high stress levels, and luckily, there is technology that can help you start reducing your stress. FocusCalm is a wearable + app that can help you practice mindfulness and awareness, so you can start noticing and changing the way you react to stressors in your life. Based on recent developments in neuroscience, FocusCalm can record your brain activity and help you identify what a calm state truly is, allowing you to more effectively get into that stress-reducing headspace. Get FocusCalm to start reducing stress and increasing your focus today!