Hey! Pay Attention!
Five ways your body tells you it’s too stressed.
Your body is smart. If you listen to it, it will tell you what it needs and when it has had too much. Listen up!
What your tummy is saying: Throwing up, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea may all be signs you are too stressed. Has your appetite changed? Are you eating more or less than normal? This can be a clue as well. Pay attention to the clues from your digestive system. Take time to eat meals unplugged from external stresses. Turn off the news channel, put away your phone and enjoy a meal and real conversation with someone.
What your armpits are saying: Feel like you are sweating more than usual? That may be a sign of stress. That anxious, racing feeling in your chest revs up your metabolism and can cause you to sweat.
Achoo! What your immune system is saying: Does it seem like you catch every virus there is? Are you having trouble shaking that cold? Stress compromises your immune system.
What your head is telling you:Do you walk into the room and wonder why you are there? Do you have trouble focusing on the task at hand? Stress impairs your cognitive abilities and slows your thinking. It can also make your hair fall out (another way your head can tell you it’s too stressed)!
What your mood is telling you: Are you grouchy, experiencing mood swings, or feeling depressed? Do you find yourself biting your nails, pacing the floor, or fidgeting? Are you sleeping more or less than usual? Do you need a smoke, a drink, or drugs to calm down and relax? All of these may be ways your body is reacting to stress.
If your body is telling you it is too stressed – listen! Here are some suggestions to help your body work better:
- Take a few moments to breathe. Simple deep breathing can lower your heart rate and calm your system.
- Talk with your doctor about ways to boost your immune system and get a flu shot!
- Take a quick walk outside to clear your head before working on something complex or making big decisions.
- Disconnect from email, voicemail, and other outside influences while you are trying to be creative or contemplative.
- Explore substance-free relaxation techniques such as meditation, guided imagery, or even reading a good book!
- Carve out 30 minutes each day just for you. Take a walk, talk with a good friend, do a hobby, or just do nothing at all. Giving your body a break will do wonders to reduce your stress.
Listen to your body – and take time to take care of yourself!
Eliz Greene works busy people to improve heart health, so they can work well, feel better, and stress less.
She is a heart attack survivor and the author of the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Heart as well as 3 other books on wellness. She writes one of the top 50 health and wellness blogs and is a sought-after heart health, stress management, & wellness speaker.
If you are planning a women’s wellness program, workplace wellness program or programs for healthcare professionals check out EmbraceYourHeart.com to see if Eliz would be a good fit with your organization.