5 Secret Signs Of Stress – And How To Reduce It

secret signs of stress

I love delving into the intricacies of how our body works, particularly stress, which affects us all. For some, chronic stress’s negative impact may be obvious, while for others, the signs of stress may be subtle and easily overlooked. Recognising these manifestations in your body is vital for improving your health.

5 Signs of Stress To Look Out For

1. Stomach Pain

Gastrointestinal issues, such as indigestion, bloating, and irregular bowel movements, can result from stress, affecting the balance of beneficial gut bacteria and impairing digestive function.

2. Cravings or No Appetite

Changes in appetite are common due to cortisol, the stress hormone. Increased cortisol levels may lead to increased appetite, especially for sugary and fatty foods, while for others, it can suppress appetite as part of the body’s ‘fight or flight’ reaction.

Stress can disrupt the balance of hormones leptin and ghrelin, affecting hunger and satiety signals and contributing to changes in appetite and eating behaviour.

3. Sleep Issues

Sleep disturbances are common with stress, often linked to elevated cortisol levels that can disturb sleep cycles, particularly causing wakefulness between 2-3 am.

4. Increased Tension

Muscular pain and tension, especially in the neck, shoulders, and back, are physical manifestations of chronic stress, contributing to discomfort, headaches, and musculoskeletal disorders.

5. Brain Fog

Stress can impair cognition, leading to difficulties in concentration, memory retention, and decision-making, often manifesting as brain fog, forgetfulness, and racing thoughts.

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How To Reduce Stress

These signs of stress don’t have to be your norm; you don’t need to tough it out. It’s essential to address them before they worsen. Here are some tools to help manage stress:

  • Deep breathing techniques, such as the 4-7-8 breathing technique, activate the parasympathetic nervous system, calming the mind and reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Incorporating Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb, can alleviate stress and promote relaxation by balancing stress hormone levels and supporting neurotransmitter function.
  • Going for a walk releases endorphins, which are natural mood elevators and pain killers, helping to reduce cortisol and adrenaline levels.
  • Increasing water intake regulates cortisol levels; chronic dehydration can elevate cortisol levels.
  • Rhodiola rosea, another adaptogenic herb, enhances energy levels, focus, and resilience to fatigue during challenging situations.
  • Breaking tasks into manageable chunks makes them feel less overwhelming and more achievable, allowing you to focus on one step at a time and celebrate small victories along the way.
  • Seeking support – while it may feel like we have to tackle stress alone, reaching out for help can be incredibly beneficial. Whether it’s confiding in a trusted friend, seeking guidance from a therapist, or joining a support group, having a support system can offer valuable encouragement and coping strategies during tough times.

Remember, you’re not alone, and asking for support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

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