Stress can strike anytime of the year. But the holidays can be particularly hectic. And even those things that bring us the most joy… decorating, shopping for gifts and spending time socializing with friends and family… put extra demands on our time driving stress levels through the roof.
But you’re managing fine, right?
Everything is getting done. You’re on track to be ready for the big day. And you’re still tucking in to bed at a decent hour most nights.
6 silent signs it’s time to reduce stress
The truth is stress is sneaky. And you may not be managing quite as well as you think.
Just because you aren’t pacing the floor each night, or falling behind in your holiday prepping, doesn’t mean you’ve conquered stress. In fact, your body may be sending you bunches of warnings that your stress levels are on the rise, and you’re simply missing them.
Following are six silent signals you need to reduce stress.
1. Can’t kick that cold:
Have a cold that just won’t seem to quit? There’s a good chance your body is trying to tell you to dial back your stress levels.
Stress can make a real mess of your immune system. Experts say the hormones our bodies produce when we’re under a lot of stress make us more vulnerable to getting sick.
And it can take far longer to fight off illnesses when you do get sick. Which means a mostly minor ailment, such as a cold or the flu, can end up taking a much bigger toll on your health. Plus it can trigger chronic illnesses to flare up too.
But taking some steps to reduce stress can finally put you on the road to recovery.
2. A scrape or cut won’t heal:
If stress is compromising your immune system, it’s not just recovering from colds that could be a problem. Scrapes, cuts, bruises and other injuries can refuse to give up the ghost to.
If you have a minor wound that simply won’t heal, don’t ignore it. It could be your body sending you a silent warning that your stress levels are too high.
Reducing your stress levels could help you heal faster.
3. Everything’s a blur:
If you find yourself squinting more often, stress could be the cause. Blurred vision and dry eyes are two common symptoms of stress which are easy to miss.
Stress can trigger a fight or flight response. Your body reacts by temporarily reducing blood flow to certain parts of your body that aren’t critical for survival.
This system works well for short-term threats. But chronic stress can cause the blood flow to your eyes to stay sluggish for far too long. And over time, the reduced blood flow can make it harder to focus, and cause them to feel uncomfortably dry.
Since blurry vision and dry eyes can be symptoms of other issues as well be sure to have your eye doctor or primary care physician check them out. But in the meantime, work on reducing your stress levels.
And be sure to check out our special report with tips on how to soothe your dry eyes naturally.
4. Your hairbrush is filling up:
If you’ve noticed a lot more hair clogging up your hairbrush lately, it could be your body’s way of saying it’s time for you to reduce stress.
The average person loses between 100 and 200 strands of hair per day. But when you’re under a lot of stress, you can start to lose far more.
Researchers are still trying to nail down what triggers stress-related hair loss. But the current theory is that stress hormones can cause your hair follicles to switch into dormant mode, and stop growing. And this, in turn, causes your hair to fall out.
For an easy way to reduce stress Healthier Talk contributor Dr. Glenn Rothfeld suggests taking some time out to commune with nature.
According to Dr. Rothfeld the environment we surround ourselves with can literally have an impact on our brain. Which is why studies show folks living in neighborhoods with more trees and wildlife have far lower levels of stress and anxiety.
Even city slickers should be able to find a nearby park that’s suitable for a stroll. So go ahead, bundle up and take a walk.
Need some more help slowing down your loss? Read 4 foods to help stop hair loss in its tracks.
5. Your skin is a mess:
A classic sign that you’re under too much stress is breaking out in hives or a rash. But those aren’t the only silent stress warnings your skin could be giving you. The stress hormone cortisol can also trigger a bout of adult acne.
If you find yourself itchy with hives, or if your skin is starting to look like you’re a teenager again, stress could be to blame. For clearer skin, make an effort to reduce stress.
6. You can’t stop yawning:
Do you find yourself yawning all the time even when you’ve had plenty of sleep? As strange as it may seem, frequent yawning can be the result of high stress levels.
You see, stress tends to wreak havoc with our breathing. It can make you breathe too fast, too shallow, or simply just not often enough. And although you don’t even realize it’s happening, you end up not getting quite enough oxygen. So your body makes up for it by triggering you to take in those big gulps of air we call yawning.
Reduce stress and you’ll reduce your yawning at the same time.
Remember, simply because you’re managing to keep all the balls in the air doesn’t mean stress isn’t still taking its toll. Keep your eyes open for six silent warning signs that it’s time to reduce stress.