Friday, July 14, 2017

Recognizing the Signs of Stress

Lead Life With Your Best Foot Forward: Recognizing the Signs of Stress

This post is by contributing freelance writer, Sally Perkins

The Italians are the inventors of a simple concept for living: “la dolce vita” or the sweet life. Leading the sweet life means taking time to appreciate the little things, whether that be in the form of food, family, or the beauty of taking an evening stroll.

In our daily lives as Americans, we are oftentimes too busy to lead this type of laid-back lifestyle, having to remind ourselves to carve out some time for relaxing. As busy-bees, the pressures of stress add up and, unfortunately, can negatively affect our health in our later years if we don’t do our best to be mindful and keep in touch with our inner selves when we're younger. Whether you face emotional stress caused by something like grieving a loss, or you face mental or physical stressors on a regular basis, you should always be conscious of recognizing the signs of stress and the damage it can cause on your health long-term.

Short Term Effects of Stress to Look For

We are all familiar with the headache that comes from being overworked or the fatigue that builds up after having an argument - but what about the other forms of short term stress? Knowing that daily occurrences that frustrate us can actually impact our health in negative ways is reason to make sure we find ways to pause, breathe, and regroup.

Some symptoms of short term stress include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Hair loss
  • Skin issues, such as acne, rashes, or hives
  • Fatigue or sleeplessness
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Heightened asthma
  • Digestive issues, such as overeating or undereating

If you are familiar with any of these symptoms throughout your week, you should try to seek out the root of the problem that may be causing you to be overly stressed. Though these symptoms may be manageable at the time, they are ultimately bad for you and can lead to more serious health concerns in later life, like cancer, heart disease, and a weakened immune system.

Finding Time for the Sweet Life

So, how do we turn our lives around from being one that is plagued by stress into one that is more in-tune with “la dolce vita”? One of the top ways to reduce stress is to find a hobby that relaxes you, like yoga, hiking, walking outdoors, playing an instrument, writing, reading, or volunteering. All of these ideas will help to expand your mind in positive ways and to forget about the issues that may be causing you stress.

Doing little things for yourself and making a calming activity part of your routine will certainly reduce feelings of irritation, affliction, or grievance. And, starting these sorts of healthy habits young will make your later years more of a breeze. With these habits in place, you'll be able to manage any concerns that arise as you grow old, like a difficult diagnosis, and you'll avoid the onset of health issues that are caused by a build up of stress.

By recognizing the short term effects of stress on the mind and body, we can transform our lifestyles into ones that embrace the goodness of life and seek the answers to our deepest questions that will lead us to inner peace.

Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.

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