Are you stressed or just having a bad day? Here and now, I have a list of some surprising physical symptoms that we’re way too stressed out.
First: You’re getting sick more often. Experts say the most noticeable effect stress has on our body is a weakened immune system because when we’re under chronic stress, the gland that produces infection-fighting white blood cells actually shrinks. That leaves our whole body more vulnerable to attacks from viruses. The good news? Lots of studies show we can boost our immune system and our ability to handle stress by getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.
The second surprising sign that you’re stressed: More nosebleeds. According to research in the British Medical Journal, stress triggers spikes in our blood pressure. And for some patients, that can cause tiny blood vessels in the nose to burst, which leads to a nosebleed. If that sounds like you, try drinking more green tea which is proven to help lower blood pressure, whether we’re stressed or not.
Also you’re probably stressed out if you’re suddenly forgetful. According to psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Rossman, chronic stress floods our brain with cortisol, the stress hormone, especially the part of the brain that controls our short-term memory. That’s why a lot of people walk out of stressful meetings, for example, saying they can’t remember names or details they talked about just a few minutes earlier. The fix? If you’re under a lot of stress, always carry a notebook for writing down important details. Studies show that writing notes by hand is a proven way to boost memory.
One more physical sign that you’re too stressed: Dry heaving or worse, there’s a condition called “cyclic vomiting syndrome” where people experience nausea and vomiting around the same time each day like when you arrive at your job, for example. For that, experts say you can ease symptoms by making sure you get at least eight hours of sleep a night and drinking plenty of water. But the only way to stop the problem is to eliminate the source of your stress.