Stress- a word most Americans are becoming familiar with. Americans are one of the most stressed people globally and with recent events in mind, their levels of stress have only skyrocketed. Almost 60 percent of Americans say they are overwhelmed by the issues they are facing daily including at work, at home, and with their finances. As a person’s stress levels rise and overexertion sets in, their mental and physical health can begin to show telltale signs. If ignored, it can lead to chronic pain, fatigue, and physical distress. Knowing the signs of stress and the right stress management techniques can help you remain stress-free throughout your experiences, and also keep your health on track.

Insomnia Or Chronic Fatigue

Changes in sleeping patterns and habits are one of the most common symptoms you may be too stressed. For some people that are too stressed to sleep, they may find themselves unable to shut their minds off or experiencing a higher heart rate. Multiple studies have highlighted the interwoven link between stress, anxiety, and sleep. For instance, in a study at Brown University researchers have found that highly stressful events in life can cause panic symptoms to increase over time, leading to panic and anxiety attacks.

Anxiety is also linked to increased cases of insomnia or sleep deprivation- as are extremely high levels of stress.  Chronic fatigue syndrome can be spurred on by lack of sleep, poor sleeping habits, and even physiological stress. While the general recommendation is that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep a night, knowing what your individual sleeping pattern looks like is key to understanding whether your sleep is being affected by stress. For instance, if you find yourself getting your regular amount of sleep and still feeling fatigued throughout the day, it may be triggered by a source of stress in your life. In this case, adopting a calming sleep routine can help you relax before bed and reduce stress levels.

Teeth Grinding Or Jaw Clenching

Another physical sign you may be too stressed is the experience of bruxism. Also known as teeth grinding and jaw clenching, bruxism has been strongly linked to stress and anxiety. Many people experience this symptom while asleep or unaware. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can also trigger migraines and tension headaches, which is also another symptom of being overstressed. Constant bruxism can also cause damage to your teeth. If you find yourself experiencing tight jaw muscles, some simple techniques can loosen tight mouth muscles and the pain that comes with it, including a jaw massage, use of a cold/hot compress, or a relaxed jaw stretch.

Unpredicted Mood Swings Or Lack Of Motivation

Overexertion or higher levels of stress can also affect your mood stability and motivation levels. According to Mental Health America, one of the signs of stress is feeling irritated, angry, or easily frustrated. This can manifest in further physical symptoms like declining cardiovascular health. In a study on Anger and Mental Stress-Induced Myocardial Ischemia, higher anger levels were also shown to increase the likelihood of a stress-related heart attack. You may also find yourself having difficulty concentrating on your daily routine or tasks.

Leading a stress-filled life can mean serious complications for your health and emotional wellbeing. Learning to listen to your body and recognize the signs of stress can help you avoid that. You may not be able to completely eliminate it but you can manage it successfully.