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Warning Signs of Too Much Stress and Its Effect on Mental Health

Maybe you’ve been more irritable than usual or have less patience to deal with work and you seem to be snapping at everyone. Throughout life, we all experience stress which leaves us drained and lonely. But sometimes we’re too overwhelmed to notice how close we are to cracking. It’s important to know when it’s time to take a rest and slow down on the amount of tasks. The state of one’s mental health isn’t something to overlook. Noticing the warning signs of too much stress is important and with this article, we hope to help you see them sooner than later so you can help yourself or a loved one.


Understanding when you’re dealing with too much stress is beneficial for both your mental and physical health. Many of us grew up feeling like dealing with high amounts of stress was a normal part of life. It’s as if we are conditioned to take on as much work as possible before burning out - a strange badge of honor for sure. But it may also lower ones quality of life. Sometimes it can be hard to notice when you’re dealing with high amounts of stress. You may not have enough time throughout your day to sit back and take care of yourself.


When your body is stuck in a stress response to day-to day-situation, this causes your heart rate to elevate, your breath to quicken, your muscles to tighten, and your blood pressure to rise even without you being consciously aware of your physical response. This can make you feel drained even if you got enough rest or cause the quality of your sleep to be impacted. While different people can handle different amounts of stress, it’s important to not overdo it. Other physical symptoms of stress are having low energy, aches and pains, and even show up as an upset stomach or intestinal issues.


It’s important to be aware of when stress impacts sleep as well as eating habits, as those can lead to greatly affecting one’s physical, emotional and cognitive health. High stress can make someone very sensitive to others, moody, and easily agitated. It can cause one to avoid social interactions, affect judgment, focus, and create greater anxiety (we have previously shared some ways to help with anxiety in this earlier blog post). Learning to manage stress can help you or those you care about minimize or avoid these extremes. Mayo Clinic has some common sense and practical information available to help with stress management.


While having stress every so often is usually no cause for concern, dealing with consistently high stress can lead to other serious health problems. Prolonged stress can greatly impact one’s mental health and lead to depression as well as chronic anxiety. Feeling overwhelmed with even the simplest of daily tasks like cleaning, removing trash and staying organized can lead to a bigger and more difficult situation. 


You are not alone, there are many resources available to help you or a loved one through tough times.  Bio-One has a list of some additional resources for help in your search.  If you or someone you care about is in need of our services, please contact us at, online or call us at 515-776-1044.


Taking small steps each day to help bring more mindfulness and peace is a good start on reducing stress. When needs become greater, do not be afraid to seek help.


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