Everyone experiences different levels of stress throughout their lives - but how much is too much?
A little stress, like an upcoming deadline or a big test approaching, can be a powerful motivator, but too much stress can impact your health and wellness, diminishing your ability to focus on the tasks ahead. Ask yourself the following questions and give yourself a point for each question you answer "yes."
- Do you feel like no matter what you do, you can't get enough rest?
- Do you feel yourself getting irritable or angry faster?
- Do you find yourself having stomach aches or pains that you didn't used to have?
- Do you have any pain or tension in your chest or muscles?
- Do you feel restless, like you can't sit still?
- Do you have frequent headaches or even migraines?
- Do you feel yourself wanting to stay away from others or isolate yourself?
- Do you feel like you have indigestion or nausea?
- Do you find yourself either over- or under-eating?
- Are you getting sick more often?
- Have you been biting your nails?
- Have you increased sweating during non-athletic times?
- Are you turning to alcohol or drug use to ignore what you're feeling?
- Do you feel like you can't get motivated?
- Are you constantly exhausted?
- Do you feel nervous or anxious more than you used to?
- Do you feel an increase in sadness or depression?
- Are you having more trouble focusing or keeping a thought in your head?
If you found yourself answering "yes" to four or more of the previous questions, you may be struggling with too much stress in your life. Even if it sounds counter-productive to add things to your to-do list, try to focus on incorporating healthy activities to help relieve the stress, like exercising, talking to a friend, playing with your pet, or reading a few pages in a book. Remembering to take care of yourself can make it easier for your brain to focus when it's time to bust out those stressful projects. Reach out to a professional to talk about what's causing your stress and see if there's anything you can do to decrease some of it.