Stress is a silent killer that affects all of us regardless of age or status.
A little bit of stress is normal because it is your brain's natural fight-or-flight reaction to protect yourself scary situations and threats. When faced with a harmful situation, your heart rate increases, muscles tighten, breathing becomes faster and your blood pressure rises.
However, when these symptoms occur often and become more noticeable then it can take a toll on various aspects of your life and lead to serious long-term health issues.
According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is hard on the mind and body and can lead to depression and increase risk of cardiovascular disease.
The best way to reduce stress is to identify what the the causes are then create strategies to manage them.
Since every person is different, some symptoms don't manifest the same for everyone but there are some common ones that will help you identify stress before it worsens.
1. Low Energy
2. Moody/Easily Agitated/Anxious
4. Feeling Depressed
6. Upset Stomach
7. Body Aches
8. Increase In Heart Rate
9. Dry Mouth and Difficulty Swallowing
10. Increase or Decrease in Appetite
11. Increase in Nervous Behaviours such as nail biting
12. Weight gain or loss
13. Hair Loss
14. Skin Problems
15. Menstrual Problems
One study found that increasing "positive affect" can lead to a 22 percent drop in the risk of heart disease. Basically, if you increase positive thinking and engage in fun activities you can reduce stress but this may not be true for everyone. If you think you're experiencing symptoms of chronic stress, you should consult a physician to determine the best course of treatment.