Life races so quickly that we are sometimes not aware that we have run ourselves ragged. Being completely tied up can make us oblivious to stress when it hits us.
Society expects instant gratification. We want immediate responses to emails and text messages, because technological advancement allows this.
Stress can leave us completely drained at the end of a long day. Learning to recognize its signs prevents it from overtaking us.
We can stop stress from making long-lasting effects on the body, but we need to recognize its signs first.
The most obvious sign, of course, is exhaustion. If you cannot get yourself out of bed no matter how much sleep you had the night before, you are probably the victim of fatigue.
You may have difficulties sleeping, because your body is still in overdrive mode. It has probably become used to this mode because you cannot stop thinking about your obligations. Insomnia will compound the tiredness you may feel.
Sickness will show itself. Since your body has been working excessively, you probably have not had time to note its signs. Studies show that stress suppresses your immune system by about 30%. Aches and pains may become chronic. A tight time line may make you take short breaths and make you feel light-headed.
With work and other responsibilities filling your head, you will find it difficult to keep track of your tasks. You may start forgetting your car keys, or appointments. Little setbacks will overwhelm you and make you over-emotional. Overloaded, you will probably turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, like junk food.
You do not always have to resort to drastic measures to reduce stress. Common sense can make it more manageable.
Ask yourself about the source of your stress. Think over it and take action where you can. It means standing up for yourself when necessary. Try to manage your time wisely and prioritize your tasks. When prioritizing is difficult, let others know that you have too much on your plate. Remember that you do not always have to do it all.
Keep a positive attitude. Although you cannot control everything, you can control how you respond to your difficulties. Make time for hobbies and interests, because they may open up new possibilities. Spend time with the people you love.
Practice simple relaxation techniques. You may not have the time to practice yoga or meditate, but you can take a few minutes from your busy schedule to breathe deeply. Force yourself to slow down and focus on the moment. Scan your body and note how stress affects it. Make the time for rest and sleep.
If everything seems too overwhelming, speak to a counselor who can offer more help.
Recognize the signs of stress early and take simple steps to manage it.