Nowadays stress is unavoidable. All a person needs to do is watch the news, check his emails or even start with his daily chores. And at one point or another, he’ll encounter different types of stressors. These can affect one emotionally, mentally, and physically as well. And when the stress becomes intolerable, a person may notice some bothersome or even scary physical signs and symptoms.
Anyone who has ever experienced getting a headache at work knows exactly how too much stress feels like. When a person deals with too many things at one time, his body gets flooded with stress hormones. When this happens, it causes a chain reaction which leads to other physical symptoms. This is the body’s way of releasing the stress as it’s already unable to ignore it. When a person is experiencing too much stress, the body is unable to manage it any longer. And so, one will notice some physical manifestations.
Although even short-term stress may cause symptoms, the long-term effects of stress are far more harmful. If a person doesn’t get things under control, the symptoms may lead to breathing or heart problems and may aggravate existing health issues. Therefore it’s important to know the signs so one can start managing his world better to reduce stress.
What Causes Intolerable Stress?
In the world today, a lot of things can cause a person to feel stressed. He may have to take an exam, go on an interview for a job or even run a race. These examples of short-term stress are all normal in one’s daily life. But it’s different when a person experiences long-term or chronic stress. This type of stress is caused by very stressful events or situations which last for a long time. Some examples are family conflicts or problems in the workplace. As time goes by, the stress may lead to severe physical symptoms. Here are some factors which may cause intolerable stress:
- One may be experiencing personal problems and is unable to talk to anyone about it.
- One may be experiencing problems with his health, which is causing him a lot of stress.
- One may be experiencing emotional problems such as guilt, depression, low self-esteem, grief or even anger.
- One may be experiencing problems with his relationships. He may be having frequent conflicts, or he may feel like there’s a lack of support.
- One may be experiencing big changes in his life. These include the death of a loved one, losing his job, moving to a new town, and others.
- One may be experiencing issues with his family. He may be supporting a family member who is also dealing with a lot of stress or one who has serious health problems.
- One may be experiencing a conflict with his values and beliefs.
- One may be experiencing poor and stressful living conditions or environments.
- One may be experiencing problems with his social situation. He may always feel lonely, he may be discriminated against, or he may even be dealing with a lot of debt.
- One may be experiencing problems with his job. He may feel unhappy about what he does, or he may feel like his job is too demanding. On the other hand, a person may also feel pressured because he is unemployed. He may have lost his job, or he may find it very difficult to find one.
- One may also feel post-traumatic stress disorder. This may happen after a person experiences a traumatic or life-threatening event in his life.
These are some of the most common causes of intolerable stress. There are a lot more. Stress levels vary from one person to another. In fact, what is stressful to one person may not affect another person as much. It all depends on how a person perceives and deals with the situations he is faced with.
When a person is undergoing a lot of stress, he might notice his face breaking out more than usual. Because of an excessive production of cortisol, which is the stress hormone, one may start having a lot of pimples. Of course, breakouts may be caused by other factors such as pollution, the weather, and even one’s diet. But if a person is experiencing too much stress, it may start manifesting in skin issues.
Aside from pimples, one may start noticing redness and flushing in his cheeks. These may also be caused by stress. This is because a person may start experiencing an increased heart rate and perspiration because of stress.
Too much stress can wear a person down. When this happens, even his immune system may get compromised. When this happens, the body is left defenseless, so germs can freely attack. Because of this, a person who is undergoing too much stress may start getting colds quite frequently. And the worst part is, the colds might be accompanied by other sicknesses, leaving the person feeling weak.
Feeling Tired and Achy
It’s normal to feel tired after a busy of work. It’s also normal to feel achy when one performs strenuous activities throughout the day. But when a person feels tired and achy all the time, then it may be because he is going through a lot of stress. Some people may even have unexplained sleepiness. This can be caused by adrenal fatigue which happens when the adrenal glands get overtaxed with cortisol. Constant stress may leave a person feeling worn out all the time even though he doesn’t perform tiring activities.
Think about a person’s body when he is feeling stressed. His shoulders are raised, his back is stiff, and his jaw is clenched. So, if the person is always tensed up like that, it will leave him feeling sore and achy. This is especially true for people who internalize their stress. Then, they might start feeling tension headaches and other pain in different parts of the body.
A person who is experiencing intolerable stress might also notice falling hair. This is a common symptom, and one may notice it especially after taking a shower. Although people normally shed hair strands daily, one might notice a significant amount of falling hair which causes hair thinning. Fortunately, when one overcomes the stress, the hair may start growing back.
Shaky and Faint Feeling
Another common sign is feeling shaky. One might notice his hands trembling more when he is going through a lot of stress. This is because of the pent-up stress in the body which is trying to get out. It manifests in the form of shaking and trembling. Aside from this, one might also feel faint all the time. In the most serious cases, one might experience a fainting spell. This is because stress may cause a person’s blood pressure to drop suddenly. This will leave a person feeling woozy or faint.
Low Blood Sugar Level
Too much stress can also affect a person’s blood sugar levels. This would leave him weak, shaky, and in need of a quick snack. A person would feel this because of elevated cortisol levels early in the morning or late at night. These are usually associated with emotional stress. So, if a person feels like his blood sugar levels are low, it may be because he’s undergoing intolerable stress.
Looking Worn Out
Finally, a person may also start looking worn out. If one feels all these physical symptoms along with the stress, then it will show on his physical appearance. One might start looking haggard and wrinkles might even emerge. This is because of the increased production of free radicals in the body. It may also be because of inflammation caused by stress. Too much stress can be truly harmful because it may speed up a person’s aging.
How to Cope With Stress?
When a person feels is overwhelmed by too much stress, his mind and body are affected. This could then start to affect the person’s interpersonal relationships and job productivity. This could also lead to a loss of his ability to focus and persist. Stress can really be very harmful especially to people who don’t learn how to cope with their situations.
A lot of times, people feel stressed when there are so many things happening at a time. Then, the person can’t think clearly and function well. Fortunately, there are different ways people can employ to cope with stressful situations. These ways would help a person manage the stress before it gets out of hand and affect his life negatively.
First off, one must recognize the signs and symptoms of intolerable stress. We’ve already gone through the physical signs, but one may also feel other symptoms. Emotional, social, and even mental symptoms may manifest when someone experiences too much stress. When a person notices the signs, he should ask himself some relevant questions. Why am I always tired? Why can’t I focus like before? Why am I reacting differently to the people around me? One might notice behavioral changes as well, like becoming too harsh or quick-tempered. Never ignore these changes. People should recognize them before the situation becomes more difficult.
Also, people should value their emotional and physical health and wellbeing. One is a lot more prone to the effects of stress if he always gets sick or doesn’t deal with his emotions appropriately. A person may start a regular exercise routine to help himself cope with stress. He may also try taking relaxing walks, reading books, and taking breaks in between work. One doesn’t have to take long breaks which may interfere with work. He can try to take a walk around the office just to loosen up. This can help a lot especially for people who have huge workloads every day.
Another effective way to cope with stress is to keep one’s social life active. The “work-life balance” is key for people who want to deal with stress. When a person works too much and doesn’t give himself time to interact with people, he may get overwhelmed a lot easier. Humor is also a great stress-reliever. People who take themselves too seriously are also more prone to the effects of stress.
People who want to cope with stress should also learn how to prioritize. If someone is given a lot of work, he should learn how to manage the tasks. Multitasking may seem like a great skill, but, it’s not. It’s better to focus on one task at a time to accomplish things more productively. Try making a list of all the tasks which need to be done. Then arrange the tasks according to the most important to the least. Then, the person can start accomplishing the high-priority tasks first then move on to each task is done.
Finally, people should learn how to manage their time wisely. Good time management is key in coping with stress. Here are some tips:
- Try creating a schedule to keep track of the daily activities. A person can make a schedule for his work as well as his chores at home. Making a schedule would allow a person to prioritize better and manage their time more effectively. People who can make effective schedules are more likely to manage their time well.
- Stay positive. At one point in anyone’s life, he will be faced with the responsibility to do a lot of things within a given amount of time. This is usually the situation when people get very stressed. If they can’t manage their time wisely, they may get overwhelmed easily. So, it’s important to stay positive. It may be easier said than done but it’s important to do so. A person’s attitude affects his ability to manage time and cope with stress.
- Suggest time-management workshops and training at your workplace. This would be very helpful to everyone in the office. Also, when all the employees in the workplace know how to manage their time wisely, they will be more productive at work. Also, the stress levels in the workplace will decrease significantly, creating a happier work environment. One can also do this at home. This is especially true for households with teenagers. Parents can guide their children in learning how to manage time. This will be very useful as the children can carry these habits even as they grow older.