In today’s culture, being in a perpetual state of stress has become the norm for many. In fact, many people think that they’re fine when they’re actually not, having grown so used to being stressed that the signs go mostly unnoticeable.
That said, even if you feel perfectly fine, your body may be telling you otherwise. The signs of stress aren’t always as obvious as falling hair or constant insomnia. Here are some of the not-so-obvious ways that your body is telling you that you are stressed out:
- Your period is wonky
Stress is one of the most common causes of irregular menstrual cycles. Research shows that stress can temporarily interfere with the part of the brain that controls your cycle-regulating hormones, thus causing changes in your menstrual cycle. For example, your period may come significantly later or earlier than usual—or perhaps not even come at all.
Although there could be other causes of sudden changes in your cycle (e.g. pregnancy, PCOS, etc.), it is also important to rule out stress. If you don’t know how to manage stress on your own, consider seeking the help of a reliable wellness coach who can guide you through better stress management practices that best fit your lifestyle.
- You’ve become more forgetful
We all like to chalk up memory issues as just mere forgetfulness, but it could be a sign that you are too stressed.
When people are stressed, they are less able to create short-term memories and turn those short-term memories into long-term memories. That said, it is more difficult to retain information when you are stressed than when you are not. So, if you keep forgetting things lately, it may be your body telling you to take a step back.
- You are sleeping too much
A common sign of stress is sleeping too little and having trouble falling asleep. On the other hand, sleeping too much and having trouble getting out of bed in the morning can also be a sign of excess stress, which is often linked to depression.
If you suddenly get urges to just stay in bed all day and have to make a Herculean effort just to get up, it’s time to check in with your doctor and figure out what’s going on.
- You keep getting sick
Stress can affect almost every aspect of your health, including your immune system. When you are under too much stress, there is an overproduction of cortisol (the stress hormone), which prevents the production of inflammatory mediators. As a result, it is harder for your body to fend off illnesses, which may be the reason why you seem to be getting sick all the time.
- You’re leaning more into your vices
Whether it’s alcohol, cigarettes, junk food, or recreational drugs, high amounts of stress can have you leaning more onto your vices to feel “relief”. You may not notice it at first; sometimes, it’s that extra nightcap before bed. Or perhaps it’s that additional cigarette during your smoke break. Whatever the case may be, it is imperative that you figure out a way to manage your stress before you develop a full-blown addiction.
- Your skin is freaking out
An easy way to tell if you are too frazzled is when you break out into hives or develop a “stress rash”. A stress rash appears as tiny hives or welts that may be painful or itchy, but are also sometimes just there. However, not everyone immediately sees this as a sign of stress since there are many possible causes of a rash.
If you suddenly develop a rash with no other plausible reason, it could be your body’s way of telling you that you are too stressed. Address the problem right away to avoid further skin problems, especially if you have other skin conditions like psoriasis or rosacea.
- You’re suddenly finding easy tasks so much harder
Chronic stress can do funny things to the mind, such as make simple tasks feel impossible to do. The main reason for this is because when you are stressed, stress hormones cause dopamine to spike, which, in turn, can lead to a decline in cognitive performance.
So, if simple things like making a phone call or putting your laundry in the wash suddenly feel like crossing a river, it is likely that you are under too much stress.
As you can see, it’s not always easy to tell if you’re under too much stress. So, if one or more of these signs apply to you, it’s high time to start finding better ways to manage your stress—and perhaps making some lifestyle changes in the process as well.
Meta title; 7 Signs You’re Stressed Out (Even If You Don’t Feel Like It)
meta desc: The signs of stress aren’t always obvious. Read on to find out more about the subtle signs of stress and what they can do to your health.