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Stress masks itself in many ways and often, we may not even notice we are overstressed. However, it is important to be aware of when you are overstressed because stress is the underlying cause of many disorders. It lowers the immune system and makes us prone to sickness and pain in the body.

Know if you are overstressed

Check out if you have any of these symptoms and get down to tackling stress on a war footing.

  1. Your body reacts to continuous stress by breaking down and releasing pain. Constant body pain, flaring up of arthritis and joint pains, headaches, especially migraines, are common for people under stress. The body muscles become tense and stiff and some may experience chest pain and palpitations.
  2. Do you have trouble getting out of bed despite a good rest at night? It may be due to what is known as ‘clinical’ exhaustion. Stress drains your energy and makes you feel exhausted all the time.
  3. Stress affects the digestive system, releasing more acids into the stomach and leads to hyperacidity, indigestion, ulcers, diarrhoea, stomach pain, irritable bowel syndrome and piles. Check if you have any of these symptoms frequently.
  4. One of the first casualties of overstressing is your sleep. Sleep fluctuations are common in overstressed persons. You may sleep too much due to exhaustion or suffer from insomnia. Sort out your stressful ambience and resort to meditation, exercise and a healthy diet to get back to your sleep routines.
  5. Unknown to you, you may be reacting to stress by eating poorly or chucking food into your mouth as often as you can. Stress also slows down your body metabolism and leads to increased weight. On the other hand, your appetite might have changed and you may be losing weight drastically. In which case you must be feeling fatigued all the time and will lack the energy to carry on your everyday activities. Changes in weight is a sure-fire sign of stress.
  6. You are a slave of stress if you can’t stop thinking about your work or problems. Gnawing worries displayed through constant checking of your phone, emails and excessive talking about your problems indicate that you are being suffocated by stress. Act immediately.
  7. People who are overstressed are unable to sit still and are restless. Are you able to go for a leisurely stroll or do simple stretching exercises or sit and introspect? If you are not able to do these, then you need to address the underlying cause of whatever is causing you stress.
  8. If you are overstressed, you are bound to be impatient and intolerant. Do you find yourself snapping at your loved ones or getting angry often? Impatience indicates you need to slow down and handle your stress.
  9. Overstress leads to frequent and major mood swings. Stress releases hormones that affect our moods and you may find that you are swinging between feeling low at times and angry or hyper at other times. Overstressing leads to anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorders and paves way for substance abuse.
  10. You may not notice, but you may find greater hair loss, a common indication of overstressing.
  11. Overstressing leads to frequent memory lapses and absent-mindedness because you have too much on your plate and find it difficult to handle everything at once. It is common to forget appointments or where you kept your keys, mobile or other important articles of everyday use.

Stress is a silent killer as it sends your body into an overdrive, wreaks havoc on your immune system and throws your hormones into confusion. It is important to stop placing tremendous demands on our emotional, physical and spiritual selves. Recognize signs of overstressing and swing into action to save yourself from stress.

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Swati Amar calls herself ‘the write person’ precisely because she claims her brain starts functioning only when her fingers dance over the computer keyboard. Gripped by an obsessive compulsion to write, her day is incomplete until she has ‘keyed’ in a few lines. Moving from counting money as an erstwhile banker in State Bank of India, Swati has been counting words for more than fifteen years. She has contributed copiously to various print and online publications in English and Tamil, numbering over 15K articles on varied subjects. Swati Amar swears allegiance to the Chennai Press Club and prides on her experience as a media entrepreneur and consultant, never losing a ‘write’ opportunity. Swati’s favorite pastime is to watch News on television, read, revel in melody, doodle and dawdle and follow the footsteps of global chefs when time permits. She believes that a good laugh peps up one’s life! And the write words too…