Recognize the Signs: The Impact of Chronic Stress

Recognize the Signs: The Impact of Chronic Stress

Stress is perfectly normal and under the right conditions an extremely helpful mental state. We’d argue that stress, in the right doses, is vital to a healthy and happy life. Stress helps motivate us, helps us overcome challenges, and rise to the demands in our lives. Healthy stress is acute stress, as in we feel stress at certain points and times, it is a reaction to an incident or a moment. Chronic stress, stress that we feel all the time, is what we’d define as unhealthy stress. Chronic stress can lead to several mental health issues and impair our ability to thrive. In today’s blog we’ll discuss how to recognize the signs of chronic stress, the impact of chronic stress and some practical ways we can manage stress for greater mental wellness.

Don’t stress!

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While anyone could be at risk for chronic stress, we often find that professionals and entrepreneurs are at a higher risk level to experience chronic stress during their lives. While several factors may contribute to this here are a few of the common causes that professionals and entrepreneurs experience that may lead to chronic stress:

  • Work insecurity
  • Money concerns
  • Lack of community
  • Self-doubt

Any or all of these causes can create chronic stress. If you’re experiencing any of these you may want to be on the lookout for some common symptoms of chronic stress. What are some of the most common signs of chronic stress?

1. Decreased Energy

Stress is a reaction that is supposed to prepare us for something. In other words, our body and our minds get us ready to handle whatever life is throwing our way. When we experience chronic stress, however, we tend to find that we have a decreased level of overall energy. In other words, chronic stress creates the exact opposite response that we’d normally achieve with healthy or acute stress.

2. Physical Symptoms

Chronic stress can lead to physical symptoms such as hypertension, digestive issues, increased likelihood of illness and falling sick. If you find yourself experiencing a few physical symptoms on a regular basis you may be exhibiting signs of chronic stress.

3. Mental Changes

Chronic stress may lead to changes in the way the brain functions. These changes in the brain may lead to anxiety, depression and addiction.

When we consider the symptoms of chronic stress, the impact becomes glaring and concerning. Chronic stress can have a significant role in our mental and physical well being and can impact all areas of our lives. Luckily there are practical ways we can manage our stress.

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Believe it or not, playing and having fun can seriously reduce stress levels. While work can be stressful and life does not always seem fun, if we make a conscious effort to enjoy ourselves, we can really make a difference on our stress levels.

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Practicing mindfulness and staying present can help reduce stress levels by helping us maintain a health perspective and keep ourselves grounded in the moment. It is easy to create stress by getting stuck thinking about the past or worrying about the future. When we get better at staying present, we can greatly reduce the impact of stress on our lives. Meditation is a great vehicle to learn to be more mindful and to stay present.

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Get Outdoors

Nature has been scientifically proven to help reduce stress levels. If you’re experiencing chronic stress make it a point to get outside at least a few times a day for 5-15 minutes. The exposure to sunlight and nature can have a wonderful influence on our mental health and wellbeing.

Overall, chronic stress is a real risk we face as professionals and entrepreneurs. By acknowledging the common causes of chronic stress, identifying the symptoms to be on the look-out for and having some actionable and practice methods to manage stress we can position and defend ourselves against the risks of stress and poor mental health.

How do you manage stress?

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