Stress can be a good thing – it can make us feel alive, important, useful and energised. But, it can also bring about health problems and changes in our bodies that aren’t so useful – in fact, it can make our life completely miserable. ‘
Our stress response is designed to protect us in moments of fear (like meeting a bear in the woods), but unfortunately our nervous system cannot distinguish between the bear or the fact that we are overloaded at work – our body is simply sensing danger.
Over time, our bodies respond to chronic stress with tell tale signs. Here is a checklist of the 9 most common signs that your body is not coping with the stress in your life:
- Feeling tired is probably the most common symptom that your adrenals are in “go slow” mode. So, if you are getting plenty of sleep and are still tired, you are probably stressed.
- Inadequate sleep – Do you toss and turn all night and then fight fatigue during the day, or you just can’t get enough sleep? Your adrenals may be depleted or your body clock is out of whack.
- The dreaded “spare tyre” – starting to put on weight round the middle? High levels of cortisol from stress will make you store fat, especially around your waist.
- Too many colds/flu – a suppressed immune system is a very common sign that your body is not coping with stress.
- Feeling anxious or panic attacks – this could mean that you are “tired and wired”, and your body is flooded with stress hormones such as adrenalin.
- Aches and pains – depleted adrenals will cause you to be more pain sensitive. You may be experiencing more muscle aches, joint pain or headaches than usual.
- Cravings – cortisol affects your blood sugar levels. High sugar foods are the first choice of the fatigued and stressed.
- Gut problems – stress hormones directly affect your digestive system. Symptoms can include bloating, reflux, constipation, diarrhoea and stomach pain.
- Feeling low/depressed – high levels of cortisol can affect our happy neurotransmitter serotonin. Not only are you tired, but feeling blue also.
You can heal from stress and any of its associated illnesses and symptoms – recognising you have a problem is the first step.
And treating the cause and not the symptoms will help you get back on track faster. If you can check off even one or two on the above checklist, it’s time to get help.
With you health in mind,
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Catherine McCoy is a qualified Naturopath, Coach and Speaker who is the founder of iNaturally. Catherine helps women get a handle on their stress, anxiety, fatigue and overwhelm so they can regain their health and re-connect with their passion and purpose.
Get your health back on track and create the change in your thinking and lifestyle to be the healthiest and happiest person possible. Contact Catherine for more information.