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4 days ago
9 Stress Symptoms That Might Surprise You
When you know about your problem then only you are able to get a solution for the same. And sometimes in life, we might not understand what’s happening to our body. That might lead us to anxiety and stress. However, with these signs, you can know that your body is giving you signs of anxiety. And here’s how to know if you’re stressed—and what you can do about it.
Headache is the very first sign of stress. Headaches can be triggered by “everyday irritants” like traffic, drama at work, etc and compounded by other symptoms like teeth grinding or muscle stiffening and more. Managing your stress is the best way to treat this kind of nagging headache. However, seek medical help if the pain begins to interrupt your life.
2) Stress Rashes
It sounds strange, but your skin can be a pretty good barometer of your stress level. "Stress can cause a rash, usually raised red spots or hives on the stomach, back, arms and face," explains Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, MS, PT, a psychologist and physical therapist in Wexford, Pennsylvania, and author of ‘A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness’. "While we don't know why it occurs, some experts believe that it has to do with the adverse effects of stress on the immune system—histamine is released, causing these itchy bumps." Deep breathing may keep rashes at bay, or from developing in the first place. So, next time you feel your stress level rising, place your hand right above your belly button.
3) Tweaked muscles
The pain in your neck that you attributed to long hours at the computer could actually be a symptom of stress."Stress definitely affects our musculoskeletal system, resulting in tight, contracting muscles and/or spasms in muscles," notes Dr Lombardo. "It gets us ready for fight-or-flight, although unlike our cavewomen ancestors, we don't actually need our bodies to react like this.”
4) Eye twitching
Have you ever had an eye twitch? The often temporary condition can be annoying and worrisome, and for some, can be triggered by stress."This condition is known as blepharospasm (not to be confused with Benign Essential Blepharospasm—a form of dystonia)," explains Debbie Mandel, MA, a stress and wellness expert and author of ‘Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7-Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life’.
5) Ragged cuticles
Do you have ragged, unkempt cuticles or nails? Their condition could be the result of a stress-induced nervous habit."Nervous habits like nail-biting are how we channel our stress by distracting ourselves with what is known as oral satisfaction," says Mandel, adding that picking nails and cuticles is also a common way for women to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety.
We all know that slacking off on dental hygiene is the first way to get cavities, but stress can also be a culprit, say experts, especially when you're grinding your teeth at night or during the day. Mandel explains teeth grinding, which many women do, as "chewing over the day's stressors." The problem, however, is that this bad habit can erode dental work, damaging your teeth and making them more susceptible to cavities. In some chronic cases, it can even lead to tooth loss, as actress Demi Moore experienced. Mandel suggests redirecting your anxiety to pen and paper.
Feeling sluggish? It could be stress. "Stress hormones cause your body to surge with adrenaline and then crash into sleepiness," says Mandel. "Stress will also ruin the quality of your sleep, so you wake up tired and irritable." What to do? Go to bed earlier, says Mandel, or catch 30-minute nap midday, and don't feel guilty about doing so. "There is great productivity in rest," she says. "You come back more focused!"
Ask any woman who is trying to do it all and she'll admit to a few slip-ups in the memory department (forgotten appointments, lost keys, missing cell phone—ring a bell?). "Research shows that chronic stress can literally shrink the size of the hippocampus, which is responsible for some memories," says Dr Lombardo. "Luckily, its size will go back to normal once your stress level reduces."
You can't decide what to make for dinner, what to wear to work or which exit to take off the freeway. Stress causes distraction and lack of focus, says Mandel. "Stress hormones lodge longest in the brain," she says. To restore focus, take a walk, she says. "Move the stress out of your body by exercising large muscle groups like the legs. You will gain clarity. Walk out in the light and you'll reset your natural rhythm while you move out the stress. Sunlight helps the body release serotonin to improve mood, and vitamin D helps you improve your immune system—a great perk."
The exhibition ‘Photographic Images and Matter, Japanese Prints of the 1970s’ kicks off at the Embassy of Japan
- by Samiksha Shrestha and Manawi Shah
- by Republica