The world of Internet often tells us that stress is important for a better performance in all areas of life, but then it forgets to tell us “How much stress?” Well to understand, Stress is an emotional experience often accompanied by physical tension and changes in behavior. It can arise from an event or thought that makes you feel nervous, excited, angry or frustrated.

It is often the body and mind’s reaction to challenges, expectations or demands. An optimal amount of stress is necessary to motivate a person to act and perform. Optimal stress is basically a moderate level of stress, neither too high nor too low and it motivates a person to step up and perform. But when the experienced stress is prolonged and starts interfering with day-to-day life of a person, it is a situation of alarm and thus needs to be addressed. 

The “red flags” of STRESS:

  • Difficulty in sleeping and in waking up

Insomnia? Hypersomnia? Nightmares?

You may find problem in falling asleep, even after having a mentally or physically tiring day. Or you may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night. Once asleep you may also face difficulty and lack of energy to get up in the morning. Sometimes nightmares may disturb the sleep as well. If you face any of these conditions then you may be experiencing high stress.

  • Disturbed food habits

“Stress eating” or emotional eating is a real condition as well as a matter of concern. If you often find yourself binging onto food when you are not hungry but anxious, it may be an unconscious attempt by your mind to deal with stress. Also, an imbalanced diet or unregulated eating habits may be a consequence of increased stress. 

  • Decreased performance in work and personal life

Finding it difficult to complete tasks that were earlier a cakewalk for you? Or losing the motivation to start or finish a task? If you find yourself not being able to keep up with deadlines, unable to finish office, school or home assignments, find difficulty in focusing or paying attention, or often forgetting things now and then; it is a red signal you mind is continuously waving at you.

  • Tightness in muscles or frequent body ache

Do you find it difficult to relax or feel that your body is in a permanent state of tension? Do you feel stiffness and tightness in muscles, and even after getting medical consultations you don’t find complete relief? This is body’s way of speaking out to you about the stress and tension it is going through.

  • Increasing complains of headache

If you have been experiencing migraine type head ache, prolonged headache, throbbing sensations in the head, have had feelings that the nerves of you head might burst out, or might have been experiencing persistent heaviness in the head, often extending to facial and jaw muscles, then it might be the result of an underlying unresolved stress

  • Frequent back pain or stiffness in the neck

Do you often feel cramps and stiffness in your back (mainly lower back) and neck area, and the un-welcomed pain seems to come back time and again. This also may be accompanied by feeling burdened under a pile of responsibilities, or feeling that you have a lot of pending and unfulfilled work and duties. This can again be the consequent of the stubborn stress.

  • Digestive problems

Do you have frequent complaints of stomach ache? Feeling constipated or experiencing loose motions quite often? You may also experience cramps or sudden gastric pains in the chest or abdominal areas. This is mainly due to imbalance in the secretion of digestive juices in the stomach due to the experience of prolonged stress.

If you identify yourself experiencing few or all of these conditions and cannot blame it on any medical cause, then you might want to pay attention to it and address the alarming call of your body and mind. As popularly said, “It’s never too late”, so take a step forward and let not your optimal stress become too much stress.


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