We often ignore some key symptoms that should have us hitting pause. See below for some of them.
Always feeling the urge to cry
Sometimes, this is linked to that time of the month. Other times, it’s linked to stress. The feeling of being overwhelmed can be so gripping that you want to cry steadily. When you’re experiencing many emotions at once—rage, frustration, loneliness, fear—this can feel like an onslaught to your system. Perhaps your chest feels heavy, your thoughts are racing, and you can’t focus on the moment. You might be riddled with worry about the future or stuck on pain from the past. This is referred to as flooding. Arielle Schwartz, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist, explains, “Flooding is the amount of emotional reactivity someone is experiencing in any given moment that feels beyond what they have the capacity to respond to effectively.”
This is also described as ‘going with the flow’. It is a symptom most ascribed to being tired or unmotivated but is one most common to stress. If you’re constantly feeling like you’re in a haze and just seem to be riding the waves, it might be time to check your stress levels.
Eating more than normal
We’ve all heard of stress eating but in the moment when we’re reaching for Doritos after a tough work call or heading out for fro-yo after a tiff with a significant other, it can be really hard to slow down and acknowledge that we’re eating for emotional reasons instead of physical ones. Of course, the act of eating is bound to have emotions attached to it, especially since it is a form of pleasure and connection with others, yet when we look to food for comfort from life’s demands, it can lead to unwanted weight gain and other health risks. Elizabeth Trattner, MD, a national board-certified doctor specializing in integrative medicine, says that physiologically speaking, she tends to see stress manifest in the form of weight gain around the trunk of the body; the neck, head, and shoulders are also at risk.
If you’re dealing with extreme stress, it might be time to hit the brakes a little and get some adequate rest.