Urban lifestyle comes with its own set of stressors. And after constant exposure to them day in and day out, our minds and bodies start showing signs of their impact. Here’s a list of a few signs to watch out for when our bodies are crying out loud and telling us to take it easy before any further damage is done.
1. A Pain In Your Jaw
Emotional disturbances and stress can sometimes manifest with us grinding our teeth in the night. This is called bruxism. Bruxism occurs when our mind processes the events of the day when we are asleep and is a sign of serious anxiety issues. Bruxism and the constant clenching and grinding of teeth can damage our teeth and cause jaw pain. It can also cause cracks in the teeth and weaken them. Sometimes it can also be a sign of problems in the bite and the way our teeth meet together.
2. Irregularity In Periods
Stress is often the cause behind a missed period. When we are stressed, our body produces stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in excess, and these sometimes interfere with the production of estrogen and other reproductive hormones responsible for bringing on a period. Stress directly affects the hypothalamic region of the brain, which controls the menstrual hormones and an increase in stress can impact the menstrual cycle, which can cause a delay in your period or missed periods.
3. Falling Sick Often
If you find yourself falling sick often, then it may not be the season that is to blame, but all the stress that you’ve been exposing yourself to. When we are under duress, our bodies secrete stress hormones that are meant to protect us in the short-term and help us cope with stress. But if we are stressed over a long period of time our bodies become vulnerable to illness as these hormones get depleted. Stress also slows down healing, and increases our vulnerability to viral infections.
4. Oily Hair
When we subject our body to constant stress, to cope with the stress it calls into effect the instinctive fight, flight or freeze response. This results in the production of large amounts of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. This increases the production of body’s oil sebum on our face, chest and scalp. This oil build-up of sebum in our hair can give them a greasy appearance. So, the next time you run your fingers through your hair and find your fingers oily, it’s a sign for you to sit back and take it easy.
5. Trouble Concentrating
When under constant stress, our body produces the hormone cortisol in large amounts. And constant exposure to this hormone over a long period of time leads to shrinking of a part of our brain called hippocampus, which is the mind’s memory center. This results in us losing focus on what’s in front of us and feel overwhelmed. Many recent studies have also shown that long-term stress can also lead to growth of proteins in the body responsible for causing debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s.
6. Constant Headaches
Exposure to constant stress can give us bad headaches and we may feel throbbing or pressure on the head or at the temples. This is what is typically called a stress headache or tension headache. If we find ourselves constantly worried and dwelling on a problem at hand, it can result in a tension headache. They are also caused because of unhealthy lifestyles. But if the headache seems much stronger than usual, or feels like a migraine headache, or one with an intensity that you’ve never experienced before, it can be something more serious and may need to be evaluated by your physician.
7. Eyes Twitching
Twitching of the eyelids and the area surrounding the eye is quite common and we think nothing of it. But sometimes, it may sometimes be telling us something. Stress can cause our eyelids to spasm and twitch and so can an excessive intake of coffee.
Sometimes stress doesn’t just plague us in the daytime. It even creeps into bed with us and keeps us up at night, trying to dissect the events of the day and worrying about them endlessly. If you find yourself in this state more often than not, it’s a sign that stress is taking a toll on the body. And it’s a sign that you need to take a step back and not let stress take over your life and health.
The thought of acne is enough to stress any woman. But what if we were to tell you that stress is also a major cause of adult acne? Stress causes a lot of health issues and can aggravate many skin conditions. When we are stressed and under pressure, our body secretes stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, that cause our blood pressure to rise. This leads to inflammation of the skin, that then leads to skin conditions like acne, hives and psoriasis. Stress hormones also affect the sebaceous glands under our skin that can worsen acne.
10. Excessive Hair Fall
Our body gets rid of strands of hair everyday as part of natural wear and tear and growth. But if you’ve been waking up to an unusual number of hair on your pillow, everything may not be alright. You may be suffering from what’s called alopecia, an autoimmune skin ailment that affects hair follicles causing extensive hair loss leaving small round patches on the scalp. This illness is caused by severe stressors, sometimes traumatic events and is quite curable. It is commonly seen in young women.
11. Frequent UTIs
If you’ve been totally consumed by work and have been putting off going to the bathroom, you are putting yourself at risk of contracting Urinary Tract Infections, which are mainly caused by urine staying stagnant in the bladder for long periods of time. So, the next time you find yourself in a meeting that just doesn’t show a sign of coming to an end, do yourself a favor – excuse yourself and use the bathroom.