Is Your Body Sending You a Warning That Stress Is Taking a Serious Toll on Your Health?
By Catherine Morgan on June 17, 2010
BlogHer Original Post
What role does stress play in your life?
These days, stress plays a big role for most of us. Personally, I'm not sure I can even remember the last time I had a totally stress-free day. Can you?
Stress isn't always a bad thing, but when stress becomes chronic it can suppress the immune system, cause high blood pressure, and even increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. For this reason, it's extremely important to learn how to recognize the warning signs of unhealthy levels of stress. We need to spot when stress is becoming a problem, before it has a chance to cause harmful physical and mental complications.
Would you know if your stress level was becoming unhealthy? Here are some of the symptoms you may experience if you're suffering with chronic stress:
- Muscle tension
- Physical weakness
- Poor memory
- Sweaty hands
- Inability to relax
- Constant worry
- Shortness of breath
- Upset stomach
- Poor concentration
When these symptoms are accompanied by ongoing stress, it's time to consult with a medical professional.
[I know there are many people that think it's a sign of weakness to admit that stress, anxiety, or depression is getting the better of them. But the truth is, it's a sign of strength. It takes a courageous person to recognize when it's time to reach out for help.]
From Mind/Body Connection - Why Does My Doctor Need To Know About My Emotions?
You may not be used to talking to your doctor about your feelings or problems in your personal life. But remember, he or she can’t always tell that you’re feeling stressed, anxious or upset just by looking at you. It’s important to be honest with your doctor if you are having these feelings.
First, he or she will need to make sure that other health problems aren’t causing your physical symptoms. If your symptoms aren’t caused by other health problems, you and your doctor can address the emotional causes of your symptoms. Your doctor may suggest ways to treat your physical symptoms while you work together to improve your emotional health.
If you're not sure whether you're suffering from dangerous levels of stress, Quantum Self has a quick self-test that might help you determine whether it's time to reach out to a professional.
More posts about the dangers of chronic stress
From ModernMom - Fighting the Silent Signs of Stress:
I wanted to give you the SILENT SIGNALS that could indicate you may be more stressed than you think. Here are 10 warning signs that you may be more stressed than you realize, so you can nip it in the bud before it takes over your spirit. This is your wake-up call, my friends.
From Natural News - An Overview of How Stress Kills:
Day to day, common stressors are normal, and we have the hard-wired ability to cope. It is the chronic type of stress that is absolutely toxic. It's outright lethal to our health and well being.
From Emotional Health Tips - 11 warning signs that stress is affecting your emotional health:
"Stress tips" seems almost too trivial a term for what is needed when you’re close to an emotional melt-down. That’s because stress is anything but trivial. It can kill you.
Emotional health may not be quite as visible to bystanders as physical health. But anything that hurts you emotionally can have a dramatic impact on your physical health and your quality of life.
From Helpguide.org - Understanding Stress:
Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.
From About.com - Types of Stress:
Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. However, not all types of stress are harmful or even negative. There are a few different types of stress that we encounter.
Are you suffering from chronic stress? Is it affecting your physical health? Have you reached out for help? Have you received help? Please tell us your story in the comments. Sharing these personal stories can often be a catalyst to helping others overcome their fears about opening up and reaching out for help.
Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
Also at Catherine-Morgan.com