Don't Ignore These Silent Signs of Stress
By Sara Butler
Stress can be sneaky. You likely know when you're feeling stressed, but how much stress you're experiencing is something that can manifest itself in a lot of ways. If you notice any of these things happening, then it may mean you have more stress than you realize and need to take steps to do something about it.
Changes in Body Weight
Stress can trigger your body to release a stress hormone called cortisol. There's a lot of evidence that this hormone changes the way your body metabolizes nutrients and that can lead to weight changes -- either loss or gain.
If you're someone who tends to snack more when stressed, make an effort to eat healthy snacks. If you go the other way and avoid food, then still keep some healthy foods on hand so you can make sure you're giving your body what it needs to work optimally.
Cortisol also has the side effect of making it difficult to concentrate. It can even cause problems with memory, depressing, and anxiety. If you notice that you're having a difficult time thinking clearly, then it's important to find an outlet for your stress, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation. You can work out regularly too to help combat stress and keep your mind sharp.
When you are under stress your body can release histamine, a chemical that can cause itching and hives on your skin. Essentially, too much stress can suppress your immune system and make your body go a little haywire, leaving you with an itchy, angry rash that only makes your stress levels higher.
If you find yourself with hives, place a damp, cool towel on the area. If that doesn't help you find relief, then you may want to take an antihistamine in the short term. Long term, you must find a way to deal with the stress that's causing you to break out in hives in the first place.
It's not uncommon for people to get tense when stressed. When you tense up, your muscles contract and that can cause tension headaches. If you clench your jaw when stressed, then that can cause headaches too.
The key is to finding a way to relax when you're tense due to stress. Unlocking your muscles and practicing some relaxation exercises will help when the pain flares up.
Stress is something you must face. If you need help finding ways to de-stress, then talk to the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in St. Louis, Mo.