Stress is no stranger to most of us, but it can creep up without us being aware. Here’s how to tell if stress is taking over your life!
Everyone knows that stress is bad for you. Studies abound on it’s negative affects on our bodies, minds and overall health. But it can creep up on you and you can be in the grips of it without even knowing. How do you tell if you’re under stress? Here are a few simple guidelines.
Disinterest In The Things You Enjoy
If you’re a fantasy football junkie who loves spending hours obsessively combing the free agent wires for just the right player or players for your team and suddenly you can’t be bothered with fantasy football, that’s a red flag. If this disinterest seems to be prolonged and hovers over you without any discernable reason or end in sight, well then, that too is a sign of stress.
Sudden Changes In Spending Habits
If you’re under stress, often the first place it shows up is your wallet. The reason? Because when you’re under stress, you’re a lot like a junkie, looking for a fix. It just so happens that the fix your looking for is peace of mind, and not illegal drugs. So you’ll find yourself spending money on things to “treat” yourself. We all need to do that from time to time, but when you’re under stress, you’ll find yourself doing that all the time. Massages, multiple trips to Starbucks, cigarettes, anything you use to blow off steam will suddenly wind up on your bank statement a lot more frequently than normal.
When you’re under stress cutting back on exercise is the last thing you need (if anything, you should increase it), but that’s exactly what many people do when they’re under the gun. They’ll come up with any and every excuse in the world (I’m too tired, I’m too busy, work was crazy, etc) but the bottom line is the bottom line. Those are all excuses. If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way to do it.
When people are stressed, they seem to find ways to not do it. And not do it regularly. That intention to decrease stress by cutting back on exercise doesn’t work. If anything it will increase your stress levels because your mind and body no longer have ways of dealing with and processing the stress you’re under.
You’re In An Unstable Position
Maybe you’re living check to check, or maybe you’re upside down on your mortgage, car loan or student loan. Maybe your employer is looking to downsize and you’re wondering if you’re next. These days it seems like job security as we know it is a thing of the past. It wouldn’t be crazy if this was stressing you out, it would almost be crazy if it wasn’t.
You Stress About The News
The news is not pretty. It’s pretty gloomy. All over the world, people seem to be going through one or more forms of hardship. Civil unrest, terrorist, partisan politics are just a few of the bad things out there that can get you down. It’s always good to be informed and know what’s going on in the world, but these days it seems to do little more than raise your blood pressure. So even if you’re not worried about your job, just watching the nightly news can make your blood boil and stress levels rise.
How do you make these things go away? That’s a whole separate column, grasshopper! For now, you have these tools to work with. Enjoy!