Anna Gragert
October 26, 2015 8:32 pm

Stressing out is the worst. OK, it’s among the worst —but still, being stressed out sucks. Whether your stress manifests itself in the form of a headache or just that indescribable feeling that your heart may burst into flames any second, stress definitely can take a toll on your life. AND your health.

If you find yourself feeling majorly stressed out from time to time, know that you’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, “More than half of working adults-and 47 percent of all Americans-say they are concerned with the amount of stress in their lives.”

Feeling stressed? Unsure? To help you out, we’ve compiled some “you’re way too stressed out and need to breathe” signs that you can look out for.

You’re having troubles sleeping

Sleep is a beautiful thing. Some would say that it is the most beautiful thing. That’s why no sleep = a HUGE dilemma.

If you can’t sleep at night because your brain is consumed with worries, you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself. When the sun sets and the moon rises, you should be on your way to Dreamland – not anxious over meetings, appointments, and deadlines. And the only thing you should be counting is sheep, not the number of things you have to get done in the morning.

The worst part is that not enough sleep can lead to even more stress because, really, who’s relaxed when they’re exhausted? Here are some tips on how you can get a better night’s sleep.

Your body is like, “your stress is stressing ME out”

Stress isn’t something that can be contained in your mind. This means that it’s able to spread to the rest of your anatomy.

When you’re under pressure, this affects your hormones, your eating habits, and all of your bodily systems. That’s right: stress can make you sick, cause you to break out, make you gain weight (or lose weight), upset your stomach, and can even cause muscle tension.

If you have a pivotal presentation coming up at work and – not-so-coincidentally – you end up with a cold, that’s one sign that you’re overdoing it in the stress department. If you just so happen to notice that you have a giant zit on your face and you feel as though killer wasps are setting up shop in your stomach, that’s also a clue that your anxiety is getting out of hand.

Basically, if your body isn’t in tip-top shape, your stress management system probably isn’t either.

Boundaries begin to fade

Boundaries are a great tool that everyone has in their arsenal. They allow us to separate work and play, to keep things professional, and to organize all areas of our lives.

Unfortunately, stress is like a boundary eraser. Here’s an example: you just got home from work. You haven’t eaten dinner, you’re in desperate need of a shower, and it’s the cat’s dinnertime. BUT — you didn’t finish typing up that report. You can picture this open document on your laptop as the cursor blinks for your attention. What should you do? Should you put the laptop away, take care of yourself (and your furry friend), and worry about it tomorrow at the office? OR, do you bring the laptop to bed with you and not move until your work is done?

With boundaries, you keep work stress at work (or at your designated workspace, if you work from home). But without borders in place, you end up bringing these tasks home and allow them to interfere with your personal life.

To put it simply, you allow stress to get the best of you if your work life has taken over your home life.

You cannot remember the last time you had some “me time”

We’re here to tell you that your health should be #1 on your to-do list. Why, you ask? Because if you’re not healthy, that makes it harder for you to do all of the other things that human beings need to do.

To balance out the stress in your life, self-love is highly valuable. Even the little things count, such as giving yourself a foot massage, buying your favorite dessert, or taking a 10-minute walk at your local park.

You’re stressed, but you’re not doing anything about it

Aside from all the above, there’s one key sign that lets you know you’re WAY too stressed out: you have trouble making it through the day.

It’s okay to have a bad day every once in a while, but it’s not okay to have a bad day every single day. If your days are plagued with headaches, stomaches, and panic attacks  – that’s a problem. If you cannot stop thinking about stress and anxiety and life’s obstacles – that’s also a problem. What about if you’re experiencing both physical and mental symptoms at the same time? That’s just double-trouble.

An even bigger issue will manifest itself if you do not deal with these things. In other words: stress breeds stress. If you don’t address the stress that you feel, it’s not going to go away on its own. And if you have too much going on and can’t find the time to deal with it, you most-definitely have too much on your plate.

While these five signs may sound like the worst kind of nightmares, they are issues that can be fixed. You can say “no” to the people and circumstances that cause you stress. You can set aside time in your schedule to take care of yourself. Most importantly, you can ask for help. Tell your loved ones what’s going on. Find a local therapist who can help you manage this tension. Also – we 100% suggest that you do more of what you truly love to do.

[Image via Paramount Pictures]

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