Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Stress Cues: Listening to Your Body

Sometimes we don't realize just how stressed we are. Then boom, it hits us. Maybe we're anxiously lashing out for no reason, exhausted beyond measure, or our body begins to manifest gnarly side effects of stress. I can completely relate to the latter.

I've never in my life suffered from issues of eye twitching. Then suddenly my eye began twitching after I'd sneeze. I thought nothing of it, until it began to twitch out of the blue and for minutes on end. Today, the twitching was so bad my eye would close for a couple of seconds. I didn't know what brought it on, but a quick google search revealed it's likely stress and anxiety. 

I didn't feel mentally stressed or overwhelmed, but my body surely was. The twitch was brought on as I drove to a site visit for a very important fundraiser my agency is planning four days from now. If that's not stress-inducing I don't know what is. Clearly my body was responding with anxiety even if I felt I wasn't stressed.

This outward sign of stress is a great cue to relax my mind and body. And that's exactly what I did. Deep breathes followed as did a warm bath and early bedtime. 

Our bodies usually give us exactly the cues we need, we simply must listen to them. Stressors manifest in countless ways and though we may want to ignore the signs, we shouldn't. Our longtime health depends on listening to our body's stress cues.

Are you ignoring the stress cues your body creates?

1. Inability to sleep
2. Eye twitching 
3. Overeating - quick weight gain
4. Extreme fatigue
5. Increasing irritability 
6. Aching body
7. Nail-biting  
8. Trembling body movements 
9.  Migraines
10.Loss of appetite - quick weight loss

All of the above might seem obvious, or worse, they may not. Take a deep breath and ask yourself if one or more of the above is happening to you. If the answer is yes, it's time to breathe deeply and schedule time to relax and destress. Distressing is as simple as taking time to meditate, pray, sleep-in, partake in calming breathing exercises, get pampered, or something all together better: go on vacation! 

How do you handle stress in your life?

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