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What Stress Signs Do You Have


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Woman facing stress signs while working

Do you have any stress signs that fill your life with frustration? Have you ever experienced a pounding heart, breathlessness, and a dry mouth? Did you know these are signs of stress that you need to take care of?

You might be able to notice stress signs in others but it’s tough to recognize them in yourself. I’m sure you are also stressed at times, though you don’t realize it.

Remember, stress isn’t a disease or illness, but if ignored, it can cause serious illness.

“It’s not stress that kills us; it is our reaction to it.” ~ Hans Selye

What is Stress

Stress is normal, and affects people of all ages. It affects people from all walks of life, and it comes in many forms.

It’s a physical response to events that upset your balance or make you feel threatened in some way.

You go into a “fight-or-flight” mode, often called stress response, when you sense real or imaginary danger. It’s the way your body protects you.

During stress response, your blood pressure rises, breathing quickens, heart starts racing, and muscles tighten.

When stress works in the right manner, it helps you to stay alert, focused, and energetic. Stress even saves your life in emergency situations like when you apply sudden brakes to avoid an accident.

Good stress keeps you on your toes during your work. It drives you to study hard for an exam when you’d rather want to watch TV, or sharpens your concentration while you are competing for a game.

But beyond this normal level of good stress, it can cause major damage. It can affect your mood, productivity, relationships, and quality of life.

What Does Stress Do

Stress is mainly a coping mechanism. It makes your body release hormones like adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol, which help you deal with tough situations.

These hormones may help you cope for a short time, but they are the main reason for most of your stress signs.

If you remain stressed for a long period, you can become ill because stress can even affect your immune system.

The unbalancing of hormones might change the way your body works on sugars in your body. This often leads to weight gain, which can make you even more stressed.

You will be amazed as to how stress tends to creep on you without you even knowing about it. You start getting used to it and take it as a normal part of your life, without noticing how it’s affecting your life.

Be careful of the stress signs that affect your body, behavior, and mind in many ways.

“Stress is the physical and psychological effects we experience as a result of the way we react to changes in the surrounding environment.” ~ Pavel Stoyanov

Causes of Stress

Pressures and situations that cause stress are called stressors. Anything that is against your will or forces you to adjust, and puts high demands on you can be stressful.

There can be negative and positive causes of stress. Negatives causes of stress can be due to reasons like tensions at home, and stress within the family.

Positive causes of stress can be a promotion, buying a house, getting married, having a baby, or going to college, and even your first day of school! Oh yes! Even kids get stressed.

External causes of stress can be related to work, major life changes, being too busy, kids, family, and relationship problems. It occurs even due to situations, challenges, expectations, and difficulties faced.

Stress signs can also be self-generated or internal. They can occur due to perfectionism, negative self-talk, inability to accept uncertainty, unrealistic expectations, pessimism, and lack of assertiveness.

Signs of stress that affect you may not affect others. For example, giving a speech in-front of people might be stressful for you, while for another person it might be a cakewalk.

“Stress is the trash of modern life — we all generate it but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.”  ~Terri Guillemets

Stress Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

If you experience even one or two of these stress symptoms as listed out by The American Institute of Stress, it might be that your body is trying to tell you something.

1- Physical Stress Signs

These include chest pains, dizziness or fainting, breathlessness, feeling restless, frequent colds, and nervousness that leads to nail-biting.

You could even have symptoms like cramps, aches and pains, twitches, digestive problems like constipation or diarrhea, low sex drive or erectile dysfunction.

Even headaches, dry mouth, trembling hands, tight neck and shoulders, low back pain, cold feet, and increased sensitivity to noise and light can cause stress.

2- Mental Stress Signs

When you are stressed mentally you might feel depressed, worried or anxious. You feel weepy, angry, and remain hungry always or have no appetite at all.

You might also isolate yourself from others, procrastinate or neglect responsibility, use alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax. And you might develop nervous habits like shaking your leg or keep pacing around.

You may always feel tired and drained out, sleepy, and experience a lack of concentration. I have some of these stress signs too!

3- Emotional Stress Signs

Emotional stress symptoms can make you moody, agitated, feeling overwhelmed, and you might feel lonely and isolated. Even when you want to relax, you might not be able to.

There might be feelings of guilt, resentment, irritability, hopelessness, powerlessness, and panic attacks.

4- Cognitive Stress Signs

Cognitive signs of stress like poor judgment, memory problems, seeing only the negative, anxious or racing thoughts, and constant worrying can also affect you.

5- Behavioral Stress Signs

Behavioral symptoms like increased or decreased eating, sleeping, or smoking can lead to stress.

Even nail biting, hair pulling, restlessness, aggressiveness, obsessive thinking, edginess, and withdrawal are signs of stress.

Gosh! I have so many of these stress signs that I really didn’t know are due to stress! Do you have them too?

When you are in a stressful situation, you may notice an increased heart rate and heavy sweating. Often even your blood pressure rises, and over a long period this can lead to a risk of heart attack or stroke.

These stress signs and symptoms can also occur due to other psychological and medical problems. If you experience any of these signs of stress, see your doctor.

How Much Stress Can You Take

You need to know your limits of the amount of stress you can take, which again differs from person to person.

Some people collapse with mere frustrations, while others love the excitement and high-stressed life and work their best that ways.

The amount of stress you can tolerate depends on your outlook of life, the emotional intelligence, genetics, and the quality of your relationships.

Things Influencing the Stress You Can Tolerate

You can tolerate the stress symptoms mentioned above depending on your tolerance level.

  • They can be your attitude and the way you take things. If you are an optimistic, then you can tolerate a lot of stress without being affected by it. Such people love challenges, accept changes as part of their lives, have a sense of humor, and believe in a higher power.
  • If you remain isolated and lonely, you are more vulnerable to stress. Thus, supportive friends and family are great buffers against life stressors.
  • When you have self-confidence and a belief in your ability, you can easily take stress in your stride. But you will feel out of control if you are vulnerable to stress.
  • If you don’t know how to control your emotions, and how to calm and soothe yourself when you feel angry, afraid, or sad, then you are vulnerable to stress.
  • It’s easier to cope with stress if you know about a stressful situation like what to expect and how long it will last.

For example, if you know you have to undergo surgery, you might experience the above mentioned stress signs. But it would help if you know the realistic picture in advance so that you are prepared.

“Stress is like spice – in the right proportion it enhances the flavor of a dish. Too little produces a bland, dull meal; too much may choke you.” ~Donald Tubesing

A stress meter that measures the stress signs for you

Health Problems Due to Stress

When you are stressed while arguing with a friend, due to a traffic jam, work load, busy home life, or a mountain of bills, your body reacts similar to a life-or-death situation.

Stress signs that occur for a long time can lead to serious health problems.

Chronic stress can:

  • Raise your blood pressure.
  • Suppress the immune system.
  • Cause infertility.
  • Increase the risk of a stroke.
  • Speed your aging process.
  • Lead to obesity.
  • Lead to pain of any kind.
  • Digestive problems.
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Depression.
  • Skin conditions like eczema.

Check out these signs of stress that tell you it’s time to combat the stress in your lives.

Coping With Stress

There are many ways to manage stress signs that all of us face. I will cover them in a later post or else this post will become too lengthy!

You can’t remove the stress signs from your life, but you can control how much stress affects you by making your life easier.

Try relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, Tai chi, deep breathing to manage your stress. Sleep well, eat healthy, limit your smoking and drinking, and set realistic goals for yourself.

Also, don’t try to be an overachiever or do things beyond your limits. Learn to say no! I know I fall into this category!

Physical activity and exercises practiced regularly reduce the stress hormone. Exercise also combats anxiety and is an anti-depressant, besides being a sleeping aid for most people.

When you practice these activities regularly, you’ll find the signs of stress reducing. There will be a boost of energy and a feeling of joy. You will feel more at peace and find serenity.

Besides these, try to take frequent breaks between you work, and don’t talk about work during your break! Use your weekends to unplug and relax, and don’t forget to go on vacations.

Spend time with your family and share your feelings with you loved ones. (I need to do all of these too – so this is a great reminder for me as well!)

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”  ~William James

I never really realized how stressed I am till I wrote this post! There are so many things I can relate to, and am sure you also did – didn’t you?

Over to you

Do you feel you are stressed? If so, what stress signs could you best relate to. Have you tried ways to overcome these signs of stress? Share in the comments below.

 

Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos


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Avatar of Harleena Singh

About Harleena Singh

Harleena Singh is a positive thinker and a freelance writer. She loves to write inspiring and thought provoking posts on self-improvement, family, relationships, health, and other aspects of life. She's not another personal development guru, but just an average person with great life experiences. She's also a blogger, who loves to share her blogging knowledge and experiences. Network with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+..

54 Comments

  1. Chathu

    October 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This is very valuable post to everyone. :) We all have stress, isn’t it. And I have some of those symptoms too, so I need to take care of them dear.Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 19, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Glad you liked the post Chathu!

      Yes indeed, stress is a part of our lives and we all have to live with it. Most of us have these stress symptoms, though what matters most is that we learn to recognize these signs of stress and take timely action – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

    • Jay Carter

      October 22, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      I think stress can be a good thing. It shows us that we’re doing something worth being stressed about. Some of us get stressed for bad reasons though.

      I find it tricky to exactly define what stress is.

      • Avatar of Harleena Singh

        Harleena Singh

        October 22, 2012 at 10:23 pm

        It sure can Jay!

        Stress is good, provided it’s within limits and benefits us to do better in our life. Yes, some of us get stressed though we don’t know why we have got stressed till we find out the root cause and take action. Keep a look out for the next part of this post about how to manage these stress signs that would answer some of these questions.

        Thanks for stopping by. :)

  2. Carolyn

    October 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Like most things in life, stress in moderation can be good, but too much is a bad thing. I like how you pointed out that there is positive stress as well, such as a promotion.

    I had one point in my life that was totally stress-free. When I lived in England, I was back in the US for the summer, living in a hotel. My daughters were away at camp and my husband was in London. There was nothing to do. No stress was stressful!

    Your excellent list of symptoms are important for us to recognize in ourselves and our loved ones. By looking for these symptoms in our kids, we can detect stress in their lives that they may not recognize themselves. We can address these issues before our kids seek solace in drugs, alcohol or cigarettes (as you point out).

    Thanks for this important article, Harleena!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 19, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Absolutely Carolyn!

      Stress in moderation IS good and that’s what actually keeps us going too. The positive stress is something we need in our lives, though most often we don’t realize nor take those as stress.

      Wow…to be all to yourself, totally stress-free with no kids and husband..what a dream come true! But yes, for those of us who are used to a routine and doing the work we do, to all of a sudden to have nothing to do can turn stressful too. I still need to last remember when I had such a break!

      Glad you liked the listed stress signs that most of us don’t realize can cause us much trouble if not dealt with beforehand. Yes indeed, most of these we see in our lives and even in our kids. However, they are too young to understand and even if I try explaining it to my daughters to relax and take things easy – they just won’t. I guess we need to keep doing our bit of explaining it to them over and over again or else we know where they are headed.

      Thanks for stopping by. Always a pleasure to have you over and share your wisdom with all of us. :)

  3. Mayura

    October 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This is an interesting topic that everyone can relate to :) Wow… Stress has so many aspects.

    The best time I get stressed is when I am called for “Public Speaking” ;) I don’t know what’s happens to me over there, but I just stress out when it comes to public speaking. So nervous. My hands start to shake sometimes, but I manage to control somewhat. I feel it, even I just asked for that. But I was progressing well and better than before. But still it stresses me out.

    Right now, when I write this comment, I’m shaking my legs Harleena :) It doesn’t mean I’m stressed out. Is it? :O Mmm… I’m kind of isolated. I mean, I do hang out with friends and love being social. But mostly I’m with computer and love blogging and stuff I do with computer :)

    I used to remain hungry Harleena. I mean, I try not to eat until I finish off my work. My mother and girlie don’t like it though ;) However I started to drink a lot more water rather than being hungry. Usually I remain awake overnight and sleep in the morning. It’s not a sign of stress, right? I just love to be in silence :)

    Procrastinate is one thing I had. I don’t think it’s because of stress either. After following some advice of my blogging friends including you, I was able to be on my duties. You know, such as creating to-do lists and listing goals :) I believe music is one thing keeping me alive Harleena :) I’m used to listening to music while I do work, even when I study. It helps me to stand on for long hours without being stressed :)

    Mostly it’s attitude, isn’t it? Someone can think of negative side of something while someone else can also think of positive aspect of it. The way we cope with stress :) Anyway too much stress would be not helpful. I have heard such stories of soldiers.

    I hope even though I’m through stress (Not much noticed), I’m doing well ;) I see stress as something that helps me to be prepared. I mean, the fear of being stressed out.

    I’d love to see you next post of managing stress too dear :) That’d be very helpful to anyone.

    Cheers…

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      Glad you could relate so well to the post Mayura!

      Ah…public speaking is my weak point too! I guess we tend to get nervous when we have to face so many unknown people and speak, whereas if our family and friends are around, we speak with such ease – isn’t it? Yes, that time our hearts starts beating faster and we start sweating a little too – it is stress that starts showing up, though once you keep practicing you learn to overcome this kind of a fear too.

      Oh- shaking your legs! Well, that couldn’t be stress I’m sure, or did my post stress you and lead you to shake your leg! Sometimes shaky legs are an indication of nervousness or even excitement, or perhaps some other reason that I wouldn’t really know for sure. If you meet friends and go out with them, and at other times you are online and interacting so well with everyone – then you aren’t isolated or lonely. Perhaps you miss that companionship sometimes, which I’m sure will be alright once you get married. :)

      Don’t worry about being hungry because those who tend to sit at their desk for long hours and work, need a coffee or snack break – nothing heavy, just something to munch. So, you can choose healthier snack choices and eat those 2-3 hours before your meal time, then no one will mind it. And yes, if you keep drinking water instead, that too helps keep your hunger off.

      Sleeping late and getting up late isn’t a good habit, but like you said you prefer that peaceful time to work, so it’s best for you. Each one of us have our own time when we are most productive, and we need to know what suits us and what doesn’t and do just that, rather than try and copy others and be uncomfortable.

      Procrastination is a habit, which I’m glad you’ve overcome. It’s said that somewhere it is linked to stress because you keep yourself away from doing work because of your internal fears. Oh yes – music is a great stress buster, though again, some people prefer complete silence when they work, like me, while others prefer music all the time, which is like my sister. She used to have her music even while studying, and I had to shift to another room because of her! I wonder how you manage to concentrate with music around – especially when you are working or studying.

      There is a positive kind of stress, which is healthy and good for us. So, it’s any day better to opt for that rather than have the negative stress signs. It all depends on what kind of a person you are – like a positive or optimistic person will always choose good stress over the bad ones.

      I don’t think you are all that stressed, after all you are not all that old, though even kids and youngsters have their own share of stress, which would make another post someday. I will be writing soon about how best you can manage the stress, if you do have any of these stress signs.

      Thanks for stopping by and for your wonderful comment. It’s always a pleasure to read you. :)

  4. Debbie

    October 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    You have some great info on stress here. I was not aware of good stress. But that really does make a lot of sense. Makes us productive.

    I can alway tell when I am getting stressed, it starts in my neck and shoulder. When this happens I take a time out. I either lay down and do a little mediation or go for a walk and enjoy outside and the nature. You might say I walk it off.

    You are right stress can destroy a person health if we don’t learn to handle it. Having a positive attitude about life can help keep the stress at bay.

    With the right attitude, we learn to control the emotions and know that whatever is going on or down there is always light at the end of the tunnel and all will be fine.

    I have found too that when we get stressed it is fear that can be taking over, so we have to learn to over come the fear. I found this out through my fear of getting lost when having to drive places I am not sure of. Now face the fear or use a GPS (LOL) and there is no stress.

    Again wonderful advice and ways to handle stress. Thank you, I love learning new things every day.

    Debbie

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      Glad you liked the information shared about stress Debbie!

      Yes indeed, good stress is the drive that makes you productive and work your best, something that all us need to have. That’s why it’s said that a certain amount of stress is healthy and required.

      I can understand those neck and shoulder pains because that happens with me too if I sit too long working, and I know it’s stress. Oh yes – then you surely need a break and I tend to walk a little around the house, catch up with some chores and am back to work. It does lessen the pain, though it usually takes a few hours or resting a little for it to completely go away. Meditation and walks, or even listening to music as Mayura mentioned are some ways to overcome these stress signs.

      We need to try and be as optimistic as possible, though I know it’s not possible always, that’s why I said try to be – so that we learn to remain positive and encourage the positive stress rather than invite the negative one.

      Absolutely! Fear is a reason for stress, just as mentioned in the post, and it cripples us from thinking or remaining positive. Nice to know that you’ve learnt to overcome this part of stress from your life. I guess it must have been very stressful to drive with the fear of getting lost but thanks to GDS – you found a way out. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. I’m happy if you can learn anything from these posts Debbie. :)

      • Debbie

        October 20, 2012 at 1:26 am

        No worries Harleena I always learn something new from your post. You are very much appreciated. Thanks again,
        Debbie

        • Avatar of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          October 20, 2012 at 7:07 am

          That’s makes my day Debbie! I guess the efforts pay off is someone says these kind words.:)

          Thanks once again :)

  5. Corinne Rodrigues

    October 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    What an apt post for me today, Harleena.

    I’m in the process of preparing for a vacation that starts on Sunday. But I’m trying to schedule posts ahead of it, buy stuff we need, plan and pack. Preparing for a holiday can be stressful too, no? ;)

    By and large, my husband and I have chosen a stress-free life for ourselves. Pablo is a good stress buster too! The only stress I feel is when I try to overachieve and don’t plan adequately.

    Thanks for all the information though – I’ll be watching myself. And you, take care of you. Like I love to say, borrowing someone else’s words: We’re too blessed to be stressed. ♥

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 19, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      That’s lovely Corinne!

      I can totally understand what happens when we need to go on a vacation because I face the same things as you, and have to see to my kids additionally! It IS stressful till you are home, though once you are away from home then you do enjoy. :)

      I wish at such times that we didn’t have the Internet or blogs to take care, and could just be free like so other people who don’t have to handle such things – isn’t it?

      Scheduling posts take time, and thereafter the comments and how you would handle the social media and things – all this doesn’t really allow us to remain offline for long. Whenever I go on a vacation, it’s just a one day gap and I am busy checking the post or emails. The complete vacation never really happens. Does it happen for you?

      Oh yes…dogs are great stress busters and ours just makes sure we don’t get stressed for too long. He’s wonderful for the kids more than us.

      When we try to overachieve, we cross our own limits and challenge ourselves to do things. In most cases we do achieve results, but that happens only after we have stressed ourselves nice and proper. Having a proper routine and planning things in advance helps a great deal, if it’s possible.

      Love those lines…we are too blessed to be stressed…yet we do get stressed.:)

      Thanks for stopping by. Take care and enjoy your vacation. :)

  6. Shitij

    October 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Well this is an awesome post covering all the aspects of stress. I agree moderate stress is very much essential in this fast paced life.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Welcome to the blog Shitij!

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, I have tried to cover most of the stress signs most of us have. Stress in moderation is required and works well if we learn to take it positively and learn to deal with it in our lives.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  7. Amandah

    October 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Great article!

    I was feeling stressed this year, until I let go and let God. I realized that life is too short to live stressed out and worried all of the time. My stress resulted in anxiety. I would burst into tears for no reason, even when I felt calm. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and that my surroundings were closing in around me. My throat would tighten up, which is scary. Some of this could have been due to a vitamin deficiency. I’ve been educating myself about “B-vitamins” and discovered that we vegetarians need to supplement our minerals and vitamins because we may not receive all of them from food. I was surprised to find out how a “vitamin B” deficiency could cause anxiety. Anyway…

    I take FULL responsibility for my stress because I have a tendency to want to help my family and ‘fix’ things for them. I finally realized that I can only change myself and that getting involved in other peoples’ dramas throws my body into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Journaling helps to keep me in check with my thoughts and emotions. The stress is gone, and I feel like 100 lbs. has been lifted off of my shoulders.

    It’s noble to want to help others, but sometimes they have to stumble and fall and learn from their mistakes. This was a tough lesson for me to learn. But I learned it! :)

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      Glad you liked the article Amandah!

      We need to let go of things that aren’t in our control and leave the control in His hands, as that’s the only way we can reduce the stress in our lives. You surely did have a lot of these stress signs, just as you mentioned, which sound scary, though as you mentioned, it could be due to other health problems like vitamin deficiency too. But with the amount you are undergoing and with additional responsibilities that you have, I won’t be surprised!

      You are absolutely right about the vitamins that vegetarians need, as all of us are vegetarians too and we do need additional supplements even if we are eating what we think is a complete meal. I guess something or the other always goes missing. And in most of the cases we discover that it is the lack of certain vitamins in our diet that lead to health problems we might be facing.

      When we are concerned for our loved ones, it’s but natural to feel for them and want to help them, which is a lot like me. However, like you rightly mentioned, we can only extend our help to a certain limit and thereafter leave things as they are because we really can’t force people to change as to what we would like or wish for. It is best to change yourselves in such a way that things don’t affect you. I know it’s easier said than done because I’ve a problem with that too, but if you keep trying, things do work. I’m glad you have found your stress reliever through journaling. :)

      Yes indeed, some people learn best from their mistakes. Sometimes no matter how much you might want to help them or tell them where they are headed, they just don’t realize it till something happens. It’s best to let such people be, or just convey your feelings and thoughts and leave it at that. Good you learnt your lessons early in life. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. :)

  8. Suzanne

    October 21, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Hi Harleena,

    This is a very detailed post that has some good stuff for me right now. I am giving a presentation in two days and have been too busy to practice. As a result, stress has built up and I must now prepare over the weekend. I really hate to work on the weekends, but in order to get through this I must. For me, stress comes when there is any “unknown” like who will be in my presentation, will they like what I say, will the technology work, etc. For example, just writing that list has made my heart rate increase! :) Anyway, as you say I must take care of myself and that will mean meditation, hypnotherapy, a few glasses of wine (but not more than two) :)

    Thanks! Suzanne

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm

      Welcome to the blog Suzanne!

      Glad you could relate to the post. I can well understand the stress you must be undergoing because of the lack of time for preparing for your presentation. I guess it must have been a real busy week for you, thus you need to work over the weekend. Such things happen sometimes.

      Speaking of myself, even though I love my weekends but sometimes I too need to sit and complete my writing projects because of the lack of time during weekdays. Ah…yes, the fear of the unknown does lead to stress because we really can’t predict of what will happen, just as in the case of your presentation.

      Yes indeed, once we know that we are facing a stressed out time and can make out these stress signs, we need to do what is best for us and try to take breaks in-between work doing things away from the routine. Meditation, music,yoga, or anything that relaxes you works well – including a glass of wine. :)

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  9. Sylviane Nuccio

    October 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    OK, let me try again, I wasn’t able to comment earlier.

    This is an excellent article about stress. I like that you specify at the beginning of this post that stress is NOT an illness, but can be the CAUSE of illness . And thank you for mentioning that it’s also a normal mechanism that we benefit from each an every day as well.

    When stress get overboard, however, that’s when it get dangerous. I know someone which stress caused her to have chronic high blood pressure and lower her immune system, which you mention both possible scenarios here. I can say how true that is!

    It’s very interesting that the lady on the video mentions how “thinking negative” in general can affect your stress level as well. Few people think about stress that way. Great reminder.

    Thank you for this post and will share it :)

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      Glad you liked the article Sylviane!

      Sorry if you faced some problem earlier while leaving a comment, though I wonder why because all the comments are coming in rather smoothly.

      Absolutely! Stress isn’t an illness at all but the cause or reason to what we might be undergoing in our lives. It does have it positive or good aspects, and those are needed to push us to excel and achieve our goals – isn’t it?

      Just like anything in excess is harmful, similarly if we over-stress ourselves or if we are undergoing any of these stress signs then it is a matter of concern. High blood pressure caused due to stress is harmful and needs medication at times if it doesn’t subside on it’s own, though mediation and deep breathing exercise, along with other such activities can help and should be tried ideally before taking medications.

      The lady in the video spoke a lot of sense, and I loved the way she explained things. I’m sure you would be able to relate these negative thoughts and stress somewhere to our subconscious mind too. I thought of you when I heard the video as to what you would have to say about it. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and your support as well. :)

  10. Vidya Sury

    October 21, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Stress is such an integral part of our lives and probably the no.1 ailment of our generation!. I have learned that getting worked up doesn’t get us anywhere – if anything, it just sucks up more energy. Some stress is healthy of course. For me, music is a great stress-buster. So is physical activity.

    And I firmly believe that “Stressed is desserts spelled backwards”

    Very nice post, Harleena! Hope your Sunday is going well.

    Love, Vidya

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 21, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Absolutely Vidya!

      Stress IS an integral part of our lives, and it’s going to keep creeping deeper into our lives till we don’t keep it in control – isn’t it?

      Yes indeed, getting agitated, angry, or upset drains us of our own energy levels, besides the stress it causes us and all around us too. I think a whole family gets affected if there’s even one person stressed in the house, which often leads to uncalled for tension and anxiety. Ah…music is great, though unlike Mayura – I really can’t sit and work with music on, though like to listen to it when I am not working. :)

      I was just about thinking of adding ‘desserts’ when stressed is spelled backwards, then left off the idea because of the post length, which is always on my mind! I’m glad you mentioned it here though.

      Thanks for stopping by, and it’s good to have you back. Enjoy your Sunday too. :)

  11. Deone Higgs

    October 21, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Brilliant topic and post, Harleena!

    Stress is certainly a killer… in more ways than one. I fail to believe that many people are aware of its dangers, and simply continue to stress until the symptoms become unavoidable and demand to be noticed. You really did a wonderful job addressing the signs and heath problems associated with stress. This is such an eye-opening post. Thank you for shining such a brilliant light on this. It’s definitely something we all need to keep an eye on and eliminate as soon as we become aware of its presence.

    A great “sharpening” message, my friend.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      Glad you liked the post Deone!

      Stress can kill indeed, and the sooner we realize and do something about these stress signs the better we will be. Yes indeed, most of us really don’t recognize that we are living our daily lives with many of these stress signs, which includes me too. I guess we need to take timely action before things get out of hand – isn’t it?

      Thanks so much for you the appreciation, and yes, I do like to go into details and give all the possible information to everyone so that they really don’t have to go elsewhere to look for it. :)

      Thanks for stopping by, and for adding more value to the post. :)

  12. Hiten

    October 22, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Wonderful post, indeed!

    This post was very timely with what I’ve been experiencing recently. It is the busiest time of the year for us at work, and my workload has increased a lot.

    I’m glad to say that all the work I’ve been doing through self-development really does help during these times. By keeping a positive can do attitude, I’m keeping on top of it. My mindfulness meditation is also helping, to keep me focused in the present moment as opposed to worrying about all that is to be done.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 22, 2012 at 8:30 am

      Glad you liked the post Hiten!

      I can well imagine about your workload, just as you had mentioned earlier, and such things are known to cause stress in all of us.

      Oh yes…I’m sure your own self-development and the work related to it helps a great deal at such times, and nothing works better than keeping a positive attitude, which helps you pass through such tough times. Meditation is known to calm such stress signs and bring much peace within, and it also lessens your worries besides it’s other benefits.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. :)

  13. Donna Merrill

    October 22, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Harleena,

    You have done such a wonderful job on this topic. Stress is like a seed that can grow and attack many parts of the body. Here you have comprehensively explained the levels of stress and what to do about it.

    In the past, I had so much stress from life situations that it resulted to panic attacks. I remember my first one which felt like a heart attack. But I realized it was a panic attack because I would have been dead several times over 30 minutes lol. I was familiar because I have a psychology degree.

    Stress can come and go. It is how we deal with it. But stress in high levels is a red flag to seek help from a health practitioner.

    From a gal that has gone through so much that was stress related, I commend you on this wonderful article.

    Donna

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 22, 2012 at 8:55 am

      Glad you liked the post Donna!

      That’s absolutely right – stress takes it’s root very easily, without us even knowing about it. It would help a lot of we are able to recognize these stress signs and make amends in time so that we don’t face further problems or health issues.

      Panic attacks can be bad, and you would know it best having undergone them yourself, though if it’s lead untreated or if you really can’t make out what caused them, it can lead to major health problems later. I guess positive or good stress we all need, and a little bit of stress is good for us too, but we need to be aware and careful of the negative stress – isn’t it?

      Thank you for your words of appreciation, and I’m glad your’e through with those stressful situations in your life. :)

  14. Annie Andre

    October 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I can totally relate to this topic and really enjoyed how extensively you covered this topic.

    The thing that surprised me but made total sense was the survival mode explanation for stress. It really can be a motivator to push us to achieve certain things or avoid dangerous situations. But too much can literally choke us as you said.

    As you know with kids life can be joyful but also stressful. Now that my two older boys are teenagers now, I’ve been learning to let go of things and trust them more. It’s really helped me live less stressfully. It still bothers me to see socks on the floor for 3 days in a row but I choose not to get stressed out over it. It seems silly but it’s a real issue. LOL.

    Plus, I’ve been in the hospital before when I was a single mom raising 2 young boys, the stress prevented me from eating and put me in the hospital so I know first hand the effects of stress so I am really motivated to handle it.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the post and could relate to it Annie!

      Absolutely! Good stress always works in our favor, and is something all of us need. I guess that’s what keeps us on our toes and makes us do thing that need to be done, while the bad stress signs are somethings we need to be careful of – always. If we can recognize the stress symptoms in our lives and learn to take timely action, we would be saving ourselves from a lot of trouble.

      Parenting is never easy as I so often say. Yes, with kids we have our joys too, but it does become stressful at times – again the good and bad stresses are there that we need to choose wisely. Nice to know that you’ve begun trusting your teens now that they’re grown up, which we should. I think they also like that trust them and value their opinions – isn’t it? And this way you lighten yourself by not really worrying too much about them.

      Ah…socks, clothes, and messed up room is part and parcel of kids and teens! It’s not silly because I have the same issues with them, and being girls I know they ought to get better here. Sometimes they just won’t budge to clear up things, while at other times when they are in their good moods they’d sit and clear it all up, though when I start putting restrictions it’s all done in a jiffy!

      You’ve seen the negative affect of stress that landed you in the hospital, so in a way it’s good you learnt about it early in life, which would keep you prepared for your future.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. :)

  15. rakesh sharma

    October 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Hi,

    This was a very informative piece about stress. I believe that stress is good in measured doses. However, today’s lifestyle puts heavy demands on individuals, thus it becomes equally significant that we discover stress busters that would work best for us.

    I was especially intrigued by the lack of assertiveness as a cause of stress and the ability to say ‘no’.I am hoping to train myself in this area.
    I am eagerly awaiting your next post as a sequel to the present one.

    Thanks for sharing this one,
    Rakesh

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      Welcome to the blog Rakesh!

      Glad you liked the information shared about these stress signs. Absolutely! Stress in a limited amount is good and often needed to keep us going. With the lifestyles we lead nowadays we are often faced with stress that become a part of our lives. I guess finding ways to deal with these signs of stress helps so that you don’t face major problems later in life.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I shall soon be putting up a post about how best we can handle such signs of stress in our lives. :)

  16. Jeevan Jacob John

    October 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Woah, I didn’t know that many of these stress signals were really the signs of stress (that is just interesting!)

    How do I cope with stress?

    Well, I change things ;)

    Instead of doing things the way I usually do, I change it up (Sometimes, I never do it – which can be bad of course). Lately, I did have lot of problems with commenting (Well, my mind wasn’t focused and there was this part of my mind telling me to not comment since I didn’t have a blog, but I was able to overcome it through a simple change. Can you guess what it is? Just a change in my feed reader – From Google reader to Feedly).

    I think most of the times, we just look for complicated solutions for our problems – like stress. Aren’t simple solutions sufficient?

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      Oh yes Jeevan!

      We often don’t realize that the small stresses we face in our lives could turn to something major if we don’t take care of them.

      Changing yourself is a great way to adapt to the situation, which can keep stress at bay, though you should not be forced or stressed in doing that! Ah… yes, I’m sure something great is coming up in place of your earlier blog, and I appreciate the steps you have taken by shifting to Feedly and carry on commenting and connecting with fellow bloggers. :)

      Yes indeed, like isn’t really complicated but we often make it complicated and invite uncalled for stress in our lives. I guess the sooner we realize this and make it simpler, the better off we would be.

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your contribution. :)

  17. Adrienne

    October 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I didn’t realize there were so many different kinds of stress signs Harleena.

    I’ve only been under stress once in my life although I have been depressed a few times in my life. I believe those are definitely different.

    I’m sure you’ve heard me mention numerous times that my best friend some years ago lost her husband to stress. He had a hypertension stroke to the brain caused by stress. He didn’t realize what was happening to him until it was too late.

    I actually had an anxiety attack back in 1998 due to an incident at work and found out six years later that I had a stroke during that time. All caused by stress on my job and trust me, it was not fun at all. It was scary and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

    I don’t wish this on anyone and I do hope that others will learn from what you’ve shared here and take much better care of themselves. Stress does kill.

    ~Adrienne

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 22, 2012 at 10:13 pm

      Glad you could relate to the post Adrienne!

      You are absolutely right – we often don’t get to know how stressed we are till someone points it out or unless we read about it.

      Depression can be due to many reasons, though it’s also one of the stress signs just as mentioned here. So, one can’t be sure if the depression you were undergoing was due to the stress you were facing or some other reasons.

      I remember your post about how your friend lost her husband leaving two boys behind I think, and yes it was due to stroke that must have got it’s roots related to stress somewhere. I guess we keep living our daily lives without realizing the stress we might be undergoing until something like this happens that alerts us, but sometimes it becomes too late.

      Gosh! Was it a real stroke? That must have been terrible, though you didn’t get to know of it till after six years later. Or perhaps it got alright soon enough. Must be all the stress just as you mentioned that must have been piling up within that caused it one fine day – scary!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with everyone. I also hope people learn to recognize the stress signs and take timely action. :)

  18. Unknown Mami

    October 23, 2012 at 12:46 am

    This is a topic that affects everyone.

    Learning to cope with stress is an ongoing challenge in my life. I find that exercise helps me very much and I find that shifting my perspective can also my a huge help. I’m also lucky to be married to a man that does not stress as much as I do, which really helps me realize that much of my stress is self-induced.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 23, 2012 at 8:57 am

      Glad you could relate to the post Claudya!

      Coping with stress is a challenge for most of us, so you aren’t alone at all. :)

      Yes indeed, exercise, listening to music, meditation, or just about doing anything that’s different from the routine helps us handle these stress signs to quite an extent. Ah…then our husbands are on the same level I guess, because mine is just the same…takes no stress whatsoever, which keeps him going. Oh yes…they are sometimes good at passing on the stresses to us or the reason for our stress – isn’t it? And yes, oftentimes we are told these our stresses are self-induced too.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. :)

  19. Will

    October 23, 2012 at 5:51 am

    Excellent post Harleena!

    I think a lot of people do not realize just how dangerous stress, especially long term stress. I was put into a tough situation in my life about a year ago, and I was living each and every day with constant stress. At first I shrugged it off. I’ve been in extremely stressful situations before and the stress I was feeling was uncomfortable, but it wasn’t so strong that it would warrant my immediate attention. I accepted the low levels of stress and allowed it to linger for a year. A few weeks ago, I looked at my health, my relationships, and where I was in life and I noticed a huge decline! It was unbelievable how my life almost changed upside down due to this small, yet constant stress. I decided to make some immediate changes, and I instantly felt my energy double, my happiness rise. I didn’t even think it was caused by the stress, I just thought I was aging lol.

    This article is great and I hope it helps a lot of people realize just how dangerous stress can be, so that they will take action and get it handled before it does some real damage.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 23, 2012 at 9:05 am

      Welcome to the blog Will – nice to have you over!

      Absolutely! Stress, whether long or short term is bad, though the long-term stress starts playing on your health without you realizing it till something serious happens.

      You seem to have experienced the short term stress in your life earlier, which perhaps was left unattended and turned to a long term one. I guess this happens when we don’t pay much attention to these stress signs and let them pile on one after the other. I too am guilty of doing this and need to take hold myself. However, I am glad that you changed your thoughts and way of thinking more on a positive level, which helps in coping with any kind of stress.

      Thanks for stopping by. I too hope that people can take away something from this post, and learn to take timely action and care of themselves. :)

  20. Jodi Heal Now and Forever

    October 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    “Even when you want to relax, you might not be able to.”

    Yep, that’s me. Better turn it down a notch!

    Thanks Harleena!

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 23, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Glad you could relate to the post Jodi!

      This happens a lot of time with me too. I guess there’s so much always on our mind that it gets tough to just let loose, unless make efforts for doing so through relaxing techniques and ways like yoga and meditation, or just go off on a vacation – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  21. Praveen Rajarao

    October 24, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Another excellent article by you Harleena.

    I agree with “Stress can affect your immune system and make you ill”….how true. The ill part may be physical or even ill-minded. One should keep stress at bay and learn to be free from such thoughts.

    Source of stress can be various events in your daily life, at home, at work or even when we go out with friends. To be aware of your surroundings and taking everything lightly will help to a great extent.

    Nice article, loved reading it.

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Glad you liked the post Praveen!

      Yes indeed, stress shows on us in many ways, though we only learn about it when it gets too late, which should not be the case. Recognizing these stress signs and taking timely action is what works best to fight it off.

      Absolutely! Stress often takes it’s roots at home in most of the cases, and starts with petty or small issues. So, we never come to realize the stress we are facing because it seems so normal to us. And these small stresses are what add up and lead to major health issues, which can sometime turn fatal too.

      Thanks for stopping by, and your words of appreciation. :)

  22. Barry Wells

    October 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    I didn’t realise there were so many types of stress, but i think I’ve felt most of them at some point or another.

    I have two major stresses at the moment.

    1, Being off sick for so long for such a minor illness, but that’s due to my condition and the state of the hospital waiting lists. Having been off since May and having work just not getting done causes me loads of stress.

    I do think, oh well it can’t be helped, but that only reduces the stress rather than eliminate it.

    2, Lack of sleep, and this is driving me absolutely nuts. I go to bed around 11pm every night and can fall asleep within minutes. Then within 15-45 minutes later I’m wide awake again and lay there trying to get back to sleep until the early hours.

    Last night I was in bed for 11, slept for a short time and was then wide awake until 5am this morning. I then sleep in, making me late for every plan i had and this goes on and on and on.

    For over a year now I’ve had night nurse beside my bed and take a cap full most nights to try and aid my sleep but that isn’t working any more.

    I saw my doctor about it, who gave me some sleeping tablets but even they don’t work every time. I would say that I get maybe one good nights sleep a week or even 10 days.

    I even have a lavender oil spray beside my bed as I’ve been told that aids sleep, alas I think I need to bath in it.

    Stress also effects my lower limbs. Being paralysed my lower limbs tend to spasm when they’re in any form of pain and at times lock up which stops me doing anything. Stress can also effect my spasms and make my legs lock tight, which in turn causes more stress leading to a vicious circle :(

    I can’t wait for your post on how to deal with stress, boy oh boy do I need that one :)

    Thanks for an excellent post Harleena

    barry

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 25, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Your’e not alone Barry!

      Most of us have these stress signs, though some have more or some less. However, we never really sit down and think that we have them unless someone points it out – isn’t it? I guess that happens because they become so used to it.

      I can well understand all that you have undergone the past few months, in addition to your wife not keeping well. In such a case, you are bound to feel stressed because work is always on the mind no matter how much we may try to console and pacify ourselves. I guess it’s a helpless situation, though you were doing your best from your end, and that’s what matters most – isn’t it?

      I think the above mentioned stress is related to your not sleeping at night. Stress plays on our subconscious too, so when you are through with those few minutes of sleep, just a thought on the back of your mind that works pending wakes you up I’m sure. This happens with me if I know I have pending work that’s not complete, or if I am near deadline. But I’m sure now that you are back and feeling better, you’d be able to take care of this aspect too. :)

      One solution that I follow for waking up at odd hours when it does happen, which is rare for me though is not to rest or sleep during the day and work a little longer. Perhaps you could try that and sleep around 12, so that you get up after a few hours at least. If nothing helps, I think it should be shown to some other doctor (a second opinion is good sometimes) who might prescribe stress relievers that work well at such times.

      I wonder though if the medications you are currently taking could be a reason for the lack of sleep, sometimes even those can interfere. You are surely going through a great deal especially with the problems of the lower limbs. And yes, I hope the post on ways to relieve these stress signs would help you in some ways, whenever it comes up.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. :)

      • Barry Wells

        October 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm

        You may have hit the nail on the head Harleena.

        I do think of work when laid in bed, although I try not to, as soon as a thought enters my head I’m awake. I do try thinking of something relaxing, normally floating on lilo in St Lucia (happy place), which sometimes works.

        I never rest or sleep during the day, even when on bed rest. I keep myself awake so as to try and aid the night’s sleep. For that very reason i never sit on a sofa or chair in my living room as I’d fall asleep and not sleep at night.

        My wife said about seeing the doctor again this morning, so I’ll book that up.

        • Avatar of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          October 25, 2012 at 7:31 pm

          Sometimes when we think of things other than what’s on our mind, it distracts us and brings us to ease, which helps in sleeping too. But that doesn’t always help if you think a lot. :)

          Hope seeing a new doctor would help, and I would also suggest not going in for sleeping pills as they have their own side effects. Perhaps stress relievers for a few days would work better, which of course would depend on what the doctor recommends.

          Thanks and wishing you all the best, and quick recovery. :)

  23. Nikky44

    October 28, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I think I cover all the signs of stress that you mentioned. I know I have to deal with things differently, but I never know how and where to start

    • Avatar of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      October 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Glad you could relate to the post Nikky!

      Don’t worry – you are not alone because each one of us has many things in common with these stress signs too, it’s just that we don’t seem to recognize and acknowledge them as they are so much part of our lives. I can understand your problem, and I hope the ways to relieve stress post that would soon be coming up would help you in some ways.

      Thanks for stopping by, and it’s always nice to see you. :)

  24. Scarlet

    January 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I pretty much agree with what you wrote about stress. It seems like it’s one of the deadliest conditions on this planet, but the least managed.

    Also, your “Health Problems Due to Stress” list was very informative. I would like to also add one more problem to the list – Erectile Dysfunction.

    Reason being, all of the manifestations of stress (physical, cognitive, behavioral, etc…) can cause erectile dysfunction.

    And, erectile dysfunction can be a warning sign of serious medical problems caused by stress.

    I loved visiting your site and reading your articles. I look forward to reading more in the future.

    Thanks for posting Harleena.

    Sincerely,

    Scarlet

  25. darrenclarksons

    February 26, 2013 at 6:57 am

    I like reading your post. Lots of information to learn on how to handle stress in life. And a good motivation to practice in real life. Thanks Harleena for sharing this good thoughts of yours.

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