Stress is part of our daily life. Sometimes it's in small amounts and somehow helps us be more productive, but other times we're under constant stress. Work, family, he alth problems, unrequited love, etc
The reasons are many. We tend to ignore the signs of stress until they start multiplying and ruining our lives.
See 3 signs that stress has seriously entered your life and it's time to counteract it.
1. Your eating patterns change
When we are exposed to stress and especially prolonged stress, the release of cortisol in the body, which is a stress hormone, can change our appetite.Elevated cortisol can increase our appetite for fatty foods, pasta and sugary products. These foods are instant fuel for our body. Because stress triggers the fight-or-flight response, our brain sends signals to power up.
In addition to making the wrong food choices, the amount we eat is usually in excess. It's a clear sign that we can't control stress or that we're not trying.
Of course, other people who are stressed show a lack of appetite. It's more of a psychological reaction. The signs of hunger are still there and our body still needs to be fed. However, our focus is on stress and what provokes it, and therefore we eat less than necessary.
But it turns out, stress also affects metabolism. According to a Western study, people surrounded by more stressors in a 24-hour period will burn about a hundred calories less, the study shows.
2. Sleep problems
Chronic stress has a noticeable effect on the nervous system as it keeps it on alert for a longer time. When we are tense and stressed, we have difficulty falling asleep or wake up frequently at night. This disturbs the quality of our sleep. A stressed person cannot sleep well, and fatigue makes us even more nervous. When we don't rest effectively, our stress levels remain high, preventing us from sleeping well.
For some people, however, stress has the opposite effect, they sleep for long hours, which makes them feel excessively tired. If they're feeling depressed, it's entirely possible they want to spend hours in bed sleeping. Sleep problems are another stress-related factor that should not be overlooked.
3. Stress affects memory
When we are under stress, it is much more difficult for us to focus on the things that are important to us such as work, learning new knowledge. At such times we tend to overlook the details.That's why when we've had stressful events, we don't remember very clearly what happened to us.
This is only for severe or chronic stress. When we are exposed to moderate stress, then we can improve our ability to learn, to remember details of situations. Our memories can also be affected by stress. If, for example, stress can make you vulnerable to believing false information about the past, this in turn alters your memories.
It even makes it harder for the brain to recode memories, so it's easier to misremember things in the long run. Lack of sleep and food as a result of stress also negatively affects our memory and concentration.