There’s a good chance that you stumbled onto this article because you were looking for a good way to help manage some of the stress that’s been eating away at you. But you also might be a part of that piece of the world that’s stressed out beyond belief but refuses to acknowledge that it’s having a negative effect on your life. Well, it’s time to smack yourself back into reality my friend.
Ignoring the stress in your life takes a toll on you physically and mentally. Unfortunately, some of us get so swept up in our hectic lives that we push stress to the back and just “deal with it”. And by deal with it, I mean just accept that it’s there and not do anything about it. But that’s completely the wrong approach.
You have to acknowledge the stressors in your life and deal with them. Otherwise you’re going to be living a pretty miserable existence for a good portion of your life, and who wants that?
How to tell if you’re stressed
It probably sounds kind of crazy, but some people brush off the symptoms of stress and downplay it. Either that or they’re just in such denial that they don’t want to admit they’re stressed at all. You know, the people that always say they’re fine even when they really have a world of issues going on.
For those of you living in denial, here are some CLEAR signals that you’re stressed out and need to do something about it:
– Constant Headaches
If you need Advil to make it through the day, then that’s a bad sign. We all get headaches, but it’s not typically an every day thing. Assuming that you don’t have any other health issues (sometimes chronic headaches can be a sign of dental problems), then there’s a chance that stress is the reason your head is always hurting.
– Your whole body feels really stiff
Something that stress tends to do to you is get your whole body wound up so tight that you feel like you can’t breath (figuratively). It’s because stress cuts off the oxygen supply to your muscles, which makes them tense up on you. That’s why a lot of people turn to massages to help relieve some of their stress. The masseuse helps relieve the muscles and gets you nice and loose.
– You have problems sleeping
Can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep anymore? Well, stress will do that to you buddy. When you’re stressed out about something in your life, you’re probably thinking about it day and night, which is interrupting your sleep. Even when you’re not actively trying to think about it, your subconscious is still aware of it and it causes disruptions in your sleeping patterns.
– You’re unable to be happy
Like I said, stress drains you both physically and mentally. Even when you’re in denial of being stressed out, it’s nearly impossible to make the symptoms go away unless you’ve dealt with the stressor. When you have a lot of active stressors in your life, you can’t really get the full benefit of each day. Somewhere in your mind, you’re worried about whatever is stressing you out, which keeps you preoccupied when you should be living it up. And that’s probably one of the biggest downsides to stress; it can stop you from living your life the way you want to.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Stress
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking the effects of stress are temporary and short term. So they try to wait out the stressful points in there life figuring that once it’s over, they’ll be back to normal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work out that way.
The effects of stress can last a long time, sometimes forever. In fact, research has shown that chronic stress can actually shorten your life span by up to 8 years. I’m not sure about you, but I could put those extra 8 years to use.
Over time, stress can cause you to age horribly, like milk. You physically look drained and like you could fall over at any minute. Wrinkles, pale skin, bags under your eyes, and bad skin are all signs of chronic stress. Basically, stress will cause you to look a lot older than you actually are. You deserve to age like fine wine, not spoiled milk.
In addition to the physical effects of UNTREATED stress, there are also mental health problems that come along with it.
- Uncontrolled anger
- Memory impairment
One of my key philosophies about stress is that you can never completely eliminate it from your life. In fact, you shouldn’t want to get rid of all stress because sometimes stress can be helpful and make you more productive. And eustress is bad stress’s good looking cousin that’s adds a little excitement to life.
So if stress is bad for you, but you can’t get rid of it, what are you supposed to do?
You have to learn how to better manage the stress and keep the amount of stress in your life to a minimum. If you can do that, you’ll be ok and not have stress run your life.
But before you can start trying to manage your stress, you have to admit that it’s having a negative effect on you. Then, and only then will you be able to grab stress by the gonads and start living your life.