In order to keep from becoming stressed, one of the first things to do is to be aware of the signs of stress. This is, admittedly, difficult, since people who are stressed are usually too stressed to notice that they are stressed. This is because stress tends to wrap itself up into a self-concerned package that not only alerts you to everything that you need to do or everything that is going wrong, all the while preventing you from actually taking care of anything that is stressing you. However, if you are aware of the signs of stress, you can at least tuck this information into your subconscious so that your brain might just remind you that your biggest problem is stress itself.
Of all the signs of stress the most obvious is persistent worrying. This is a state where your brain is constantly reminding itself of problems or issues that need resolving. In fact, this is not only a sign of stress, it could be referred to as stress itself. After all, stress is a condition where worry and concern take over the mind to the exclusion of all other thoughts. Though worry is sometimes unavoidable, stress is actually a condition where worry is so all-consuming that there is no other room in the mind for anything else. Unfortunately, this can lead to physical health problems that will hurt you in other ways.
Second on the list of the signs of stress is the headache. This is the most common physical ailment that arises from stress and it can be debilitating. In fact, stress headaches can sometimes reach into the area of migraines and those can leave you unable to even move. However, stress headaches can also appear when you are relaxed, simply because your brain is so used to being stressed, it does not know how to be anything else. Thus, the relieving of tension can create a wicked headache, or even a migraine, that will also leave you debilitated. So if you don't want to be knocked out by stress every weekend, you should keep stress at bay during the week.
Another common sign of stress is insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep. The most common cause for this is the fact that, when you are under stress, your mind tends to keep racing even when you are trying to relax. Thus, rather than resting, your brain simply continues its frantic pace of activity, preventing you from getting the sleep you need to keep your stress under control. Yes, sleep helps manage stress, yet stress can leave you incapable of sleeping. This is yet another example of the ways in which stress can work to simply continue itself.
Other sleep problems that arise from stress include nightmares, sleepwalking, sleep apnea -- not breathing during sleep, which causes the body to wake up -- and hypersomnia -- or persistent fatigue and desire to sleep. Unfortunately, these syndromes are debilitating and can cause many problems all their own. Thus, if you are suffering from any of these, you should probably see a doctor in order to manage both the condition and the stress that is causing it.
Physical signs of stress can also include ulcers or acid reflux disease. Ulcers are caused by small areas of bleeding in the stomach and acid reflux is a condition where acid enters the esophagus, causing bleeding. Of course, these are very severe problems, since they cause actual bleeding as well as problems digesting food. In the most extreme cases, the bleeding can be so severe that it actually presents problems of blood loss. Needless to say, ulcers and acid reflux disease are no laughing matter and you should see a doctor if you are suffering from either condition.
A frustrating symptom of stress is simply memory problems. These can arise when you are so stressed that your mind has trouble forming new memories. Obviously, this is an extreme case and you should be concerned when you are having trouble remembering things. Unfortunately, this sign of stress can be the most frustrating, simply because you don't know why you cannot remember things. This, of course, gives you even more stress, recreating the original problem.
Among the most dangerous of the signs of stress is high blood pressure. This is caused by the fact that, when people are under stress, their heart tends to beat faster, sending more blood to the body and mind, allowing it to react to physical danger. Of course, most of the problems in today's world do not actually involve physical danger and the automatic, bodily reaction to stress is utterly misplaced. You do not need the "fight or flight" response when you are trying to get some things done at the office, so the increased blood pressure is doing you no good. However, it is especially dangerous because it can create circulatory problems that can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Thus, stress must be managed if you want to avoid causing yourself permanent, debilitating harm or even death.
The signs of stress are not just mental problems. In fact, stress creates physical problems as well. Thus, if you want to keep yourself healthy, you need to manage stress. And the best way to do it is to be aware of the signs of stress and attend to them before they do you permanent harm.