Signs that your body may be the victim of prolonged stress can be obvious.
Either way, stress can be the driver that’s undermining your health.
Stress can be a good thing
It can make you feel alive, important, useful and energised.
But, it can also bring about health problems and changes in your body that isn’t so useful. In fact, it can make your life completely miserable.
As a Naturopath, I thought I knew all I needed to know about coping in my busy life. Then, a number of years ago stress crept up on me. I found myself sick, extremely fatigued and anxious. It was not something I was expecting.
Your stress response is there for a reason
Your stress response is designed to protect you in moments of fear (like meeting a bear in the woods). Unfortunately, your nervous system cannot distinguish between the bear or the fact that you’re overloaded at work – your body is simply sensing danger.
Over time, our bodies respond to chronic stress with tell tale signs.
Here’s a checklist of the 9 most common signs to look out for:
Signs your body is not coping with the stress in your life and you’re heading towards burnout:
1. Feeling tired all the time
Fatigue is a common symptom. There can be many reasons so if you’re tired all the time despite plenty of sleep, it’s time to find out the reason why.
2. Poor sleep
Worry and stress can keep you awake. If you toss and turn all night and then fight fatigue during the day, you’re not getting restorative sleep to feel energised and alert during the day. Find out more reasons why you’re not sleeping well.
3. A “spare tyre”
If you’re starting to put on weight round the middle, it could mean high levels of cortisol is causing you to store fat, especially around your waist.
4. Increased colds/flu
A suppressed immune system is a very common sign that your body is not coping. Read more about 4 Common Illnesses Driven by Stress here.
5. Feeling anxious
This could mean that you are “tired and wired”, and your body is flooded with stress hormones
6. Aches and pains
An overworked nervous system will increase pain sensitivity. You may be experiencing more muscle aches, joint pain or headaches than usual.
Cortisol affects your blood sugar levels and can block glucose from entering cells. This can lead to insulin spikes, cravings and tiredness. High sugar foods are the first choice of the fatigued and stressed.
8. Digestive problems
Stress hormones directly affect your digestive system. Symptoms can include bloating, reflux, constipation, diarrhoea and stomach pain.
9. Low mood/depressed
High levels of cortisol can affect the balance of neurotransmitters in our brain such as serotonin and dopamine. Not only are you tired, but feeling blue also.
The good news is, you can heal from stress and burnout as well as its associated illnesses and symptoms.
Recognising you have a problem is the first step.
Treating the cause as well as the symptoms will help you get back on track faster. If you can check off even one or two on the above checklist, it’s time to get help.
I can help with stress management and building resilience for better health. Here’s how:
- Book in for a consultation (in Clinic, Zoom or over the phone) to really drill down on what’s stressing you out – Click here
- Eating the right foods for your body can help relieve stress – Click here
- Grab a copy of my Rebuild Your Life Journal for 5 simple daily journal prompts to ground you and get those habits and routines down pat – it’s your daily reset button – Click here
- Not sure what you need? Book in for a 20 minute FREE discovery call chat with me – Click here
- Sign up for my Newsletter for more tips – Click here
With you health in mind,