I reach for the sleeve of Myprodol in my bag and mindlessly chug away two of the green and red tablets. My head is pounding, and it is only 9:30 am. I have client deadlines and reports that are due before my meetings tomorrow. On top of this, I feel like I have swallowed a cheese grater, and my throat is on fire.
My trip to Zanzibar is a distant memory, ancient history to be exact, and I am once again running like a hamster on the wheel called life. I stop to ask myself, am I too stressed out? Is this what is causing the headaches? Is the trouble falling asleep? The increase in my irritation levels?
We live in such a fast-paced society, where it’s go, go, go all the time, that even though we are financially stable, and happy in our personal lives, and healthy, we don’t realize the level of stress our bodies and minds are enduring. It is only when you sit down and relax, that your body goes into shut down mode, and all hell breaks loose.
If you have some of these signs and symptoms, chances are you are as tightly wound as a string of cotton and need to de-stress.
The more you stress, the more you touch your face. This spreads bacteria and leads to the development of acne and breakouts.
Studies have shown increased stress levels result in increased muscle tension, which leads to headaches.
Increased stress levels disrupt your sleep cycles and lead to insomnia. This leads to fatigue and decreased energy levels.
Decreased sex drive
Stress levels impact your hormones, which affect your libido and ultimately, your sex drive. This can lead to tension in your relationship.
High stress levels can lead to gastrointestinal issues like constipation and diarrhea.
Change in appetite
Ever heard the saying, “Eat your feelings”? Stress levels can wreak havoc on your appetite levels, and it is different for everyone. Some overeat when stressed where others don’t eat at all. Generally, increased stress levels do correlate with an increase in weight gain.
Chronic stress can lead to depression or episodes of depression.
So what do I do? Find an outlet for your stress — exercise or a hobby, but something that breaks the cycle. Meditation and yoga is food for the soul, and it de-stresses the body and declutters the mind. Avoid situations that increase your stress levels. If social settings, traffic or certain people aggravate your stress levels, avoid them or find a way around them. If you have to see them, take a wing-woman along for moral support. Breathe deeply and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Let us know what you do to keep your stress levels down.
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