Stress is literally unavoidable these days. We all suffer from it from time to time, but the real problems begin when it goes on for weeks. That’s when anxiety sets in and starts pummeling our body. The sleeping problems and worrying are just a start – stress destroys our body mentally and physically as well.
According to psychologist Dorian Crawford, stress can affect many aspects of our life including our emotions, social life, cognition, and our overall health. The longer it goes on, the higher the price you’re going to pay. When the body starts secreting cortisol (the stress hormone) on a daily basis, the always-on fight or flight mode affects different functions of many systems in our body, including the libido, digestive system, and our blood sugar levels.
There’s more than one thing that can happen to your body if you’ve been under stress for more than a week. If you recognize these symptoms, it’s time to learn how to relax or get professional help – if you don’t, you may suffer terrible consequences.
Obsessing Over Details
Constant stress leads to overthinking and overanalyzing details. “If you notice that you’re too focused on a problem and you can’t see the big picture, you’ve probably been under stress for weeks. “Anxiety narrows our mind and makes us too attentive, so in this case, you need to seek professional help,” psychologist Melanie Greenberg says.
Craving Fatty, Sugary, and Rich Foods
A donut sounds great when you’re under stress doesn’t it? It’s no coincidence that the body craves high-fat, sugary, and rich foods when dealing with a lot of cortisol. “Chronic stress tires the body, so it needs extra ‘fuel’ to keep going,” Greenberg explains. These sugary or fatty snacks are supposed to give your body the energy it needs until the next meal.
Too much stress can lower your libido and kill your desire for intimate contact. Stress can cause serious hormonal imbalance, causing a change in your sex drive. This symptom varies from person to person – as Greenberg explains, some may lose the desire for sex altogether, while others will have problems fighting the urge for sex.
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of high-stress levels. Stress takes its toll on the body and can make you feel exhausted. If you’re suddenly feeling edgy and tired without an apparent reason, you’ve been under stress for too long. If left untreated, this can result in many other problems and may even lead to depression. So, if you’re unusually tired for more than a few days even if you sleep well, consult with a professional.
Stress is closely associated with gastrointestinal problems. Prolonged stress can cause constipation and diarrhea, and has also been related to stomach ulcers. So, if you’re experiencing digestive problems all of a sudden, stress might be to blame.
You’re Clumsier Than the Usual
Surprisingly, being clumsy has been related to prolonged periods of stress. As most people know, stress affects our sleep and sleep deprivation leads to cognitive and motor impairment, not unlike being drunk. If you’ve been under stress for a week or more, your coordination might be off. So, if you’re dropping things more often and you start tripping over stuff, you should talk to a professional before you bring yourself in danger.
Being snappy is one of the major indicators of high-stress levels. Prolonged periods of stress will make you anxious and snappy which will eventually turn to anger and hostility, especially when you’re frustrated.