I’ve thought a lot about the topic of relaxation and its evil twin, stress. I’ve had good reason to. I’ve had a stress disorder, I’ve had stressful jobs, and I’ve lost colleagues to illnesses exacerbated by stress.
Still haven’t found the original citation of the oft-seen statistic that 90 percent of doctor visits are stress-related…
I asked a question on Facebook:
How do you know when you’re stressed?
Here are some answers. Please feel free to comment with your answer. I’m seriously interested in this topic and wanting to aim my right livelihood at helping people become more relaxed.
- Either I feel very tired, or my ears lay back like a dog’s or cat’s.
- I get snappy.
- I second the snappy.
- Everything is bunched up between my shoulders and neck…and often, I get a headache or cranky or both!
- I have headaches and fogginess in my eys, drowsiness and anxiousness in my belly. I fluctuate between giggles and frustration.
- Sometimes I get a small eye twitch. It’s a signal to slow down and let go of things on my to do list. My experience is that as I’ve responded to my stress signals earlier and earlier over time (instead of waiting until they’re completely debilitating — like a migraine), the signals have gotten smaller and smaller.
- When heavily stressed: Catch myself holding my breath, get obsessively task focused, drawn to eat lots of chocolate. When super stressed I get a little anxious which manifests in my mind generating risks and possible bad outcomes at every turn (e.g., while driving, the idea of someone running into my car will flash for me). I’m quick to recognize that as a sign of stress.
- Question might be: How do you know when you are more stressed than usual? 🙂 My back gets tired. Lower and upper left shoulder.
- as if i’m ever not stressed?! ha ha ha, that’s a good’n, mary ann! ha ha ha ha ha!
I notice that some of these are felt in the body (fatigue, tightness, headache, holding the breath), some are felt more as emotions (anxiety, frustration), and some are behavioral (snappy, cranky, giggles, drawn to chocolate, obsessively task focused).
There’s so much more I want to know, such as how you know that you’re not stressed? (Apparently some people never feel unstressed.) Then what do you do to de-stress or lower your stress level once your realize you are stressed?