According to the APA’s 2015 poll millennial’s experience higher levels of stress than any other generation and women rank slightly higher than men. You may not find this surprising at all. In fact, you may consider stress to be completely normal, so normal that you don’t realize that it’s happening and that you can do something about it.
Though there are stressful experiences in life, if we are not careful our experience of stress can turn into a lifetime of stress. For me, stress and overwhelm became the norm and I didn’t know what to do without it. It was a “can’t live with it, can’t live without it” type of thing!
Through my own journey around understanding myself and facing my fears, I learned that there are many tools to manage stress. However, if you’re not catching the signals coming from deep within, there’s no reason to change. Either you will continue to avoid it until something literally forces you to stop (e.g., throwing out your back) or you’ll keep trucking along feeling suffocated and unhappy. Basically, living a life filled with the freedom and peace you deserve won’t be realized.
The good part is that we don’t have to figure anything out alone. In fact, all the answers your searching for are right here within your body and it’s been whispering to you along. If you are ready to listen and follow the path, you’ll find that healing yourself from stress is possible.
Life can move so fast that we don’t notice our body, mind and spirit sending us messages that something’s not right. Here are some signs that you are stressed:
- Cold sores and blemishes
These guys pop out right on your face to tell you somethings up.
- Trouble sleeping
Waking up tired and then having issues falling asleep is a classic example of stress. Your body is wound up from thinking so much, the food you ate and the lack of relief it needs to rest.
- Overeating and drinking
Being honest about my food and drink habits took a long time for me. I didn’t want to face that the way I ate and the amount I ate was directly correlated to my sense of security and peace.
- Rushing through
It feels incredibly uncomfortable to come face to face with what’s bothering you that the easiest way around it is to be “busy” – constantly doing and running about.
- Over doing
Ever feel like you are trying to prove something by your actions and wonder why? This was a big sign for me that I was caring a burden much greater than the task I was accomplishing.
- Losing your temper
Crying or blowing up over spilled milk? It’s obvious that we really aren’t upset over the mess. There is something lurking beneath it.
- Low self-esteem
Feeling bad about yourself goes hand in hand with putting pressure on yourself and trying to juggle everything perfectly.
- Tightness in body
We always carry stress in our body. The mind, body and soul are connected. If it’s in your head, it’s in your body. The most common examples are: tight shoulders, tight jaw, and stiff neck.
- Extra caffeine and extra wine
Waking up exhausted because you slept like crap and drinking more caffeine to get you going leaves you wired at night and because you want to relax, you grab your go to comfort glass/bottle of wine. This is not a judgment of habits but an awareness of what’s happening in our bodies.
- Weight gain or weight loss
Both are connected to your emotions and say so much about what’s going on your life. Rather than trying to lose the weight, you might concentrate on the stress that’s coupled with it.
- Constant thinking
If you ever quite down enough to observe what’s going on in your head, you’ll notice a never-ending cycle of thoughts which keep you up at night and scare you during the day. Surprisingly, we don’t need to stop the thoughts, we can learn to loosen our attachments to them instead.
- Pain anywhere
Your back problems, stomach aches, painful periods, and shoulder issues don’t only have to do with how you lift or the fact that you fell. Again, your body is screaming out at you that something needs to change.
Becoming aware of the signs and signals from our body, mind and spirit is the first step to managing our stress and finding peace. Simply notice what’s going on daily with your sleep, energy, meals, activities and feelings to start the process of change.
If you’d like to take a deeper look into stress and how you can manage yours, reach out to me.
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