Life is full of daily stress that can quickly become overwhelming and cause physical symptoms and conditions as a result. Whether from financial instability, problems at work, or problems with friends or family, extreme stress can take a hard toll, especially if you already experience mental health issues. While it can be difficult to prioritize mental health when there are so many other things to worry about, it’s important to listen to your body and to make lifestyle changes that will help relieve your stress.
Symptoms of Extreme Stress
Stress has very real effects on the body if it’s unmanaged. There are several major life events that cause extensive stress, such as the death of a loved one, losing your job or going through a divorce. The impact of these events can be powerful enough to affect your physical health, as there is a close connection between physical and mental health. Long periods of depression can result in measurable physical symptoms, such as weight loss and insomnia; these symptoms could weaken your body and make it more susceptible to more serious illnesses.
Depending on the kind of stress you’re under, you may be putting your body under intense physical labor that could result in things like hernias. Hernias occur when an organ or tissue bulges through an abnormal opening inside the body. They are common and painful, and can need surgery to be treated. In just the abdomen, there are an estimated 700,00 hernia surgeries performed each year in the U.S. When doing physical labor, either for work or when simply moving into a new home, it’s important to perform heavy lifting with care and to not let stress cause you to ignore your body.
Exhaustion is a common reason that people begin to ignore their body’s signs to slow down. When you are consumed by getting work done, it can be difficult to slow down when your body needs rest. Sleep affects the brain in a variety of ways, and if stress is keeping you up at night, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of insomnia. Studies show that when people receive less than five hours of sleep each night for a week, they experience higher levels of stress, anxiety, anger and sadness, which can worsen the stress one is already experiencing.
Combating Stress Daily
If you suspect your stress levels are higher than usual due to not getting enough sleep, you should figure out what is intruding on your sleep. People have trouble sleeping for many reasons, including mental health issues like generalized anxiety disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and ADHD. Seeking counseling and medication may help to control symptoms and can help you fall asleep at night, which is part of managing the other symptoms.
Trouble sleeping can also be caused by physical symptoms, such as a dry throat and coughing. If you are waking regularly due to coughing, consider getting a humidifier to balance out the moisture in the room, as excessively dry air can cause a dry throat, as well as nose bleeds, itchy eyes and dry skin. While these symptoms are not too severe, missing out on sleep can start to affect your ability to regulate your emotions and increase stress levels, which can worsen related conditions.
Extreme chronic stress has been known to cause many physical problems, including increasing your chances of high blood pressure and heart disease. Doctors recommend regular exercise to keep your body functioning healthily and to reduce stress levels. It’s important to address stress factors in your life in order to avoid sleeplessness and other symptoms that exacerbate stress-related illnesses. By prioritizing your mental health, you can avoid developing related illnesses and be a happier and healthier person overall.