I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror the other day that made me realise that perhaps I am more stressed than I realised. Up until this point, I hadn’t really considered the physical signs you might actually be stressed.
Life recently has been quite stressful and we are undergoing lots of uncertain times and lifestyle changes to come. There have been days where our stress levels have been really high and it’s felt like an emotional rollercoaster. Yet other days have felt really nice and filled with new adventures.
During stressful times, I always gravitate towards journaling. As well as the act of writing being extremely therapeutic, I can look back at my thoughts and experiences. This actually has been really helpful for me to look back at the physical symptoms I have been experiencing.
I’m not a doctor, this is just an observation of my own experiences. I just thought it was quite insightful when I thought about how my body was telling me I was perhaps more stressed than I realised.
Here are my observations of the five physical signs you might be more stressed than you realise:
Stress is probably the biggest contributor to my IBS going crazy. It’s like a vicious circle though, the more stressed you get about having a flare-up, the more likely you are to have an IBS flare up.
2. Trouble sleeping
As soon as I’m stressed, I will start having trouble sleeping. Also invariably when I do sleep, I will have crazy, weird dreams. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been wide awake at 4:30! I’ve started leaving a notepad next to the bed to write down the crazy list of ‘to-dos’ that flood my brain at that hour.
Lack of sleep also leads to puffy or dark circles under your eyes. I look like I haven’t slept for weeks without a good slathering of concealer under my eyes.
If you are having trouble sleeping, I did a post about five ways to sort out your sleep struggles, if you want to check that out.
3. Lack of concentration and mental clarity.
Combined with lack of sleep, I always know I’m stressed when I struggle to read a book. I will have to keep re-reading to make sense of the chapter and I can’t connect with the characters.
The mental clarity that you need to make sense of the situation and help you rationalise what is going on. It just vanishes. Then I make mistakes and just feel overwhelmed.
4. You have another cold
Most of us won’t get through winter without the odd cough or cold. But if you’re constantly feeling run down, it might be a physical sign you might actually be stressed. Thankfully, I’ve built up a bit of immunity to colds from working in schools, but I know this is something Dan suffers with a lot when he is stressed.
5. Hair loss
I don’t remember the day, but I was in the bath and I noticed I had lots of hair on my hands when I rinsed off the conditioner. I brushed my hair and the brush was covered in my hair. Me being me, I obviously didn’t tell anyone about this. Instead, of course, I turned to Doctor Google.
Hair loss I think is the one that really highlighted to me there are physical signs you might actually be stressed. Although, I also have to consider that I’ve done the keto diet in recent months and of course my age may have baring too.
It seems to have slowed down a bit now, thankfully. But my hair still looks dull and feels dry. I bought some hair loss shampoo and serum from Amazon and I’ve spent a fortune on conditioner, so fingers crossed it’s slowed down now.
Unlike me, if you have any signs of stress, go and get them checked out, just in case it’s a sign of something more serious.
How do you deal with stress?