Anyone who says they don’t have stress is either lying or in denial. While it’s true that some people have less stress than others and that some people are better at managing it, we all have some amount of stress. Often more than we think.
Back in the day, I was a stressed out mess. Trouble is, I didn’t think I had all that much stress. That’s right, I used to be a denier. Although it might be more accurate to say that I underestimated the amount of stress I had. It’s easier to do that than you might think.
If we don’t manage our stress very well, or don’t find a way to actually reduce it, we’ll eventually get used to it. What happens is that our baseline resets and that new stress level begins to feel normal instead of stressed. Then life piles some more stress on us, and we get used to that too. All the while, our bodies are sounding the alarm bells by pumping out all kinds of stress hormones, but we’ve gotten so used to the sound of the bells and the feel of the hormones that we think we’re at a healthy neutral level of stress. We have no idea just how stressed we are until we start to have real problems. Even then, it can be easy write off a lot of the problems as aging or just something that runs in your family.
I’ve had most of these symptoms at one time or other… back in the day, but I didn’t know they were symptoms of stress. In fact, I clearly remember being rather rude to an urgent care doctor who told me that the symptoms that brought me in were stress-related. I thought he was just feeding me the stress line because he didn’t know what was wrong. Turns out… he was right and I was a jerk.
To keep you from being a jerk like me, check yourself against the following list. Any of the following can indicate that you’re under an excessive amount of stress:
You certainly don’t need to have these all at the same time to be stressed out. Good lord, I hope you don’t have them all. I can’t even imagine. You may have a couple or several on the list, you may have only one, or you may cycle through several. Whichever it is, if you recognize yourself in this list, I strongly encourage you to be brutally honest about the stresses in your life and how you can eliminate, reduce, or better deal with them. You’re quality of life is at stake. If these symptoms go on for too long, your actual life may be at stake and neither of us wants to see anything like that happen.