If Stress Is Haunting You, It Could Be Hurting You Too

Stress can cause physical harm to your body – and you might not even know about it. This Monday, learn about how stress can cause damage to your brain and body and then find out how to prevent it before it becomes a nightmare!

It might seem easy to write off the physical symptoms of stress. Tension headaches, digestive issues, and high blood pressure all go hand-in-hand with stress. While it seems like a normal part of life, those same symptoms may cause more damage to your health if you don’t try to manage them. Continued neglect of these symptoms could lead to ulcers, heart disease, and even obesity and diabetes.

Unchecked stress can also affect your brain. You may experience forgetfulness or become more aggressive and impatient with others. It may also have the opposite effect and make you become passive rather than engaged and involved. Stress may also cause sleep disturbances. All of these symptoms could have an impact on how you interact with others at work or at home. But stress can be managed before any of these issues come to a head. (Pun intended.)

Before you start feeling the physical symptoms of stress, identify what triggers your stress in the first place. Even if you’re unable to avoid stressful situations, there are plenty of ways to manage your feelings so they won’t get to you. Figure out a response for the moment you begin feeling tense or unnerved. Start taking deep breaths, get up and take a short walk, or reach out to a coworker to whom you can vent your frustrations. The key is to acknowledge the first signs of stress instead of ignoring them.

One way to move past a trigger for stress is a mindfulness exercise. As soon as you encounter a stressful situation, find a quiet place to concentrate. Picture your stress as a cloud passing through a blue sky. Let that cloud breeze away and move out of your line of sight until you see the sky clear. Imagine your stress being taken away by that cloud, away from you.

Now that you’ve allowed your stress to pass, get back to your day. Remind yourself that you don’t have to hold on to stress. Being able to let go this Monday will help you get through the week no matter how stressful it is. And managing your stress now means better Mondays ahead!