We all know stress as something worth avoiding. We know that it’s generally unpleasant to be stressed, but many of us might be unaware as to how deeply the roots of stress can settle and how they can affect our body, our mind, and our behaviour. Here, we’re going to look at some of the most common negative consequences of too much stress and see if you might have any warning signs you’re not coping with your current situation.
Mental stress and physical stress are both very linked. For one, stress often leads to a decrease in physical exercise, which can make your body more susceptible to pain. It also increases the tension in your muscles, which can lead to friction that induces back pain and joint pain. The best solution to both issues is to find stress-busting exercises that help you flood the brain with happy hormones. They can not only improve your mood but relax your muscles and dull your sense of pain.
The wrong coping mechanisms
We all find ways to cope with stress, but some of us turn to the unhealthiest habits in doing so. Comfort eating, alcohol consumption, and cigarettes all contribute to stress more than they help you relieve it. Eliminating your bad habits permanently is the only effective way to stop yourself from leaning hard into them when you’re under stress.
Aggressive driving is one of the leading causes of road accidents. When you feel aggressive or angry on the road, you are more likely to make risky manoeuvres, particularly in an effort to reaffirm your “right of way”. A good way to stop yourself from getting angry on the road is to set off a little earlier. If you’re not as worried about being late or being held back, you’re more likely to keep your cool when something threatens to interrupt your journey.
Those restless nights
Sleep deprivation might not seem like a “habit” so much as something you have to suffer through. But it an issue that you can combat with these sleep tips. Increasing light exposure throughout the day and avoiding electronic lights at night, like a cell phone screen or laptop monitor, can help you adjust your body clock so that you get ready for bed more easily, for instance.
Do you find yourself getting more anxious about going outdoors, or making excuses to avoid social calls more often? These are the first signs of social withdrawal. If it’s allowed to continue unimpeded, it can turn into real isolation at any point of life. Once you spot it, you have to stop the spiral of social isolation. Make plans with friends you haven’t seen in a while or go out for a meal in a café or simply relax in the park. Re-introduce yourself to society.
If you begin to feel like stress could be at the root of some of your problems, you need to tackle the source as well as the problems. Is there someone you can talk to or perhaps a way you can scale back your responsibilities to ease up the pressure on you for a while?