(And Why You Should Pay Heed)
Stress is a sneaky little devil. Rather than come at you as a full-blown attack, it often creeps up in your work life and catches you off guard.
Here are 10 signs that could be warning you to slow down.
- You constantly feel high-strung
A normal workday is likely to bring some bit anxiety and nervousness. But if you feel tensed and jittery during most of your working (and non-working) hours, you might be over-exerting yourself. This can affect your immune system and lead to chronic stress syndrome.
- You don’t remember the last time you ate
When you begin to ignore hunger pangs and eating drops way down on your priority list, you might have too much on your plate (no pun intended). Cutting back on nutrition can interfere with your ability to function effectively and can cause long-term damage to your metabolic system.
- You’re eating all the time
Conversely, if your workstation is always littered with chocolate wrappers, takeout boxes and soda cans, you’re probably stress eating. Although feel-good comfort food can provide temporary relief, it does not counter stress long term. It can instead be the first step toward obesity.
- Sleep is no longer a friend
If you find yourself staring at the ceiling at bedtime and dozing off at the wheel of your car, irregular work hours might be behind your sleep cycle disruption. Adequate and regular sleep is essential for your body to recharge, recuperate and rejuvenate. Not enough rest can mess you up emotionally as well as physically.
- Bickering and fighting are an everyday affair
When you find yourself blowing up at every small irritant, it might be a sign that you aren’t experiencing enough good feelings to balance out the unpleasant. Constant crankiness can ruin relationships and make the world around you unhappier than it needs to be.
- You have unexplained aches and pains
Stress can sometimes skip emotional processing completely and go straight to the body. Chronic exhaustion, unexplained headaches, recurring colds and fevers could all be signs that your immunity has taken a hit.
- You have reminders to remind yourself to check reminders
If you find yourself struggling to remember everyday things, your mind is probably filled to capacity. To an overtaxed brain, the smallest of tasks can become overwhelming. Over time, this can be precursor to a nervous breakdown.
- You spend more time in the toilet than at your work station
Constant (unsatisfactory) visits to the loo could be a sign of an irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). When we are unable to “digest” our stress, it can show up as a digestive problem. Apart from the embarrassment of having to excuse yourself multiple times at work, IBS can leave you feeling uncomfortable and uneasy.
- You’re losing hair
When we experience excessive stress, it shows up as hair loss after a period of three months. So if you’re losing hair today, you have likely been subjecting yourself to stress for at least the last quarter, if not longer.
- Your smoke breaks have gone up
If you find yourself looking for excuses to light up, chances are that you’re trying to relieve stress. Smoking and alcohol consumption seem like easy escape routes but, to put it simply, they will eventually kill you.
When something is not right, our mind and body send out signals as a warning. By becoming more aware of these signs, you can make things better before it’s too late.