Stress affects us in a number of ways — sometimes physically, sometimes mentally, and sometimes emotionally or spiritually.

Chronic stress leaves signs but many times we get so used to feeling stressed, we dismiss those signs as “normal.” If you find that you are struggling with physical ailments that have no obvious physical cause, then stress may be the culprit.

For years, I struggled with headaches, deep fatigue, and intense sugar cravings. I was seeing various alternative health practitioners for my fatigue and two of them told me that stress was a strong factor in my symptoms. I just didn’t understand how much my work was hurting my health. Yes, I was working long hours. I was going through various personal issues, but I thought everyone deals with pressures like I was going through.

I didn’t take the warning signs seriously enough, and I ended up with numerous health problems which all led up to cancer.

Be aware of the common signs of too much stress that are listed below. Then take action to lower your cortisol (our stress hormone) daily.

Hidden signs of stress

  • Migraines
  • Muscle spasms or back pain
  • Sore jaw from grinding of teeth during sleep
  • Stomach aches
  • Tension leading to sore muscles or joint pain
  • Frequent colds or weakened immune system
  • Food cravings
  • New or worsening allergies
  • Acne
  • Itching
  • Increased sweating
  • Sleepwalking
  • Nervous habits

The first step in reducing your cortisol and overall stress is to become aware of how stress affects you. Then become aware of how often and to what degree it affects you.

Next, intentionally set some time to unplug during the week. Write down 10 things that you love that allow you to relax and unplug. For me, that’s music and dancing. Another activity is to go outside, take off my shoes, and ground myself by having my bare feet on the grass or ground.

When you write out your top ways to de-stress, make sure you have some that you can do anywhere and at any time. See my Facebook page for more tips on how to develop habits that reduce stress and help you feel calmer.

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