7 Physical Signs of Stress You Shouldn’t Ignore

From fatigue to cravings, there are some physical signs of stress that probably shouldn’t be ignored. DIRTEA nutritionist Clarissa Berry reveals more, plus what can help

The adrenal glands are two small glands that sit above the kidneys and are where your main stress hormones are produced.

These are hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that are produced in response to stress. Their role is to prepare your body for fight or flight when faced with danger, such as a tiger or an avalanche, and facilitate quick, efficient, physical action.

hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which are produced in response to stress

The release of stress hormones increases blood flow to the heart, lungs and muscles to prepare the body for the expected physical exertion, thereby diverting energy from less important tasks such as digestion and detoxification.

This is called the “stress response” and is meant to be temporary. see a tiger, run away from a tiger. Once the threat is gone, your biology is designed to return to normal.

However, in the modern world, the “danger” our bodies perceive is usually much less tangible than a ferocious beast.

READ MORE. Insomnia? Too stressed to sleep. 5 Tried and Tested Sleep Hacks to Beat Stress

Physical signs of stress

Stress comes in many forms and seems endless. unread emails, demanding partners, exposure to environmental toxins, food intolerances, bad weather, energy costs, health concerns, etc. .

With so many stressors bombarding us from all angles, it’s harder to return to our basic state of “rest and digest.”

Chronic stress, left unchecked, causes your body to remain in a stress response, leading to systemic dysregulation of our hormones, exhaustion of our adrenal glands, and a cascade of negative health effects.

Here are some physical signs of stress that you shouldn’t ignore…

#1 Fatigue

Fatigue that you can’t shake and find it hard to get started in the morning. Fatigue that isn’t remedied by a good night’s sleep could be a sign that your adrenals are struggling, especially if you know you have a lot on your plate.

One of the functions of our stress hormones is to help regulate our energy levels throughout the day and get us going each morning.

Fatigue that isn’t remedied by a good night’s sleep could be a sign that your adrenal glands are struggling

Overactive adrenal glands can lead to inconsistent production of stress hormones, causing morning sluggishness and fatigue, often accompanied by feelings of tension at night.

#2 Coffee cravings

Addiction to stimulants such as caffeine. If your stress hormones are running wild and you’re feeling tired, you may rely heavily on caffeine to stay alert and “feel human.”

This can also be a sign of poor sleep. However, sleep quality is affected by feelings of stress and anxiety, and insufficient sleep can also add to your stress load, so it may be worth assessing your stress levels.

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coffee cravings physical symptoms of stress

#3 Sugar cravings

Similarly, feeling tired can lead to increased sugar cravings as your body looks for external sources of energy.

Sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods such as breads, cereals, pastries and pastas provide an instant source of energy, soon followed by a drop in energy and further cravings for sweets.

This blood sugar roller coaster keeps the body in a state of stress and hormone dysregulation.

your body looks to external sources of energy

Instead of giving in to these cravings, try fueling your body with whole foods, protein, and healthy fats to keep your blood sugar balanced, hormones healthy, and micronutrient intake healthy.

#4 Salt cravings

Unlike sugar, you can pay attention to your salt cravings. The adrenal glands require a lot of salt (or sodium) to function, so salt cravings can be a sign that your adrenals are working on overdrive.

Contrary to popular belief, salt is not inherently bad for you (although it is contraindicated in some cases of high blood pressure).

Be sure to choose a quality sea salt or Himalayan rock salt and also consume foods rich in potassium and magnesium. These extra minerals can help your adrenal glands function during times of stress.

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Salt cravings are physical signs of stress

#5 Low stress tolerance

When your stress burden is high, a seemingly small event can seem huge and insurmountable. It is a classic example of crying over spilled milk. it’s probably not the milk at all, but a series of stressful events that led to the spill.

If you feel that your emotions are close to the surface, this may be a sign that you are overstressed.

#6 Frequent illness

Chronic stress can affect the immune system and contribute to frequent illnesses. This unfortunately adds to your stress load, so it can be a vicious cycle.

Chronic stress can affect the immune system

If you’re getting sick often, it could be a sign to take your foot off the pedal and focus on reducing your stress levels as well as supporting your immune system.

#7 Disturbed sleep

Chronically high or irregular stress hormones can lead to evening tension, difficulty falling and/or falling asleep, and poor sleep quality.

Unfortunately, this only compounds the problem because deep rest is so important for healing and de-stressing. One way to support your sleep quality is to manage your stress levels.

READ MORE. 7 Practical Sleep Tips Your Circadian Rhythm Will Thank You For

disturbed sleep insomnia physical signs of stress

What can you do about it?

If some of these signs sound familiar, chances are you’re suffering from chronic stress and adrenal overload.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do is reduce your stress levels. While it’s not always possible to eliminate stressors, there are some things we just can’t change, try to focus on the things that are within your control.

In the meantime, to support yourself, here are some tips to reduce stress…

#1 Use mindfulness and breathing exercises to relax the body and mind

Meditation is a great way to take a break from life’s stresses. You can also try relaxing breathing techniques, such as lengthening the exhalation to double the length of the inhalation, such as inhaling 4 times and exhaling 8 times. Repeat for several minutes.

#2 Prioritize getting enough high-quality sleep

Sleep is one of the most important pillars of health and the key to healing and recovery. Most people need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, so make sure you get enough time in bed.

Optimize quality sleep by taking time to wind down in the evening, keeping your bedroom cool, reducing exposure to blue light before bed, exercising daily, limiting alcohol consumption, and cutting back on caffeine in the afternoon.

READ MORE. From shiitake mushrooms to reishi. 5 Reasons Why Mushrooms Are Magical For Your Health

attention to how to manage the physical signs of stress

#3 Try supplementing with an adaptogen

Adaptogens are herbs that increase resistance to stress. One of my favorite adaptogens is the Reishi mushroom, which not only helps reduce perceived stress levels, but can also calm feelings of anxiety, improve sleep quality, and provide powerful immune and digestive support.

I recommend DIRTEA’s Reishi Mushroom Extract Powder £39.99 added to a hot drink daily or taken as a tea.

DIRTEA is a unique range of powders and super blends that harness the healing power of functional mushrooms, adaptogens and Ayurvedic herbs to naturally improve your well-being.

#3 Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins

Toxic load contributes to your overall stress load. You can reduce your toxic load by, for example, getting a water filter, buying organic food, skin care and cleaning products, and avoiding plastic contact with your food.

reduce consumption of inflammatory, processed foods and refined sugar

Eat a diet rich in whole nutrients and reduce your intake of inflammatory, processed foods and refined sugar.

This, on the one hand, can reduce your stress load by removing potentially harmful toxins from your diet. On the other hand, it optimizes the nutritional support of your body and adrenal glands, helping them better cope with your stress load and aid in the healing process.

#4 Set healthy boundaries

Consider setting healthier boundaries around work and difficult relationships. Learning to say no instead of taking on more work or emotional responsibility is an important way to protect yourself and reduce stress.

Make sure you have a supportive social network as well. Your relationship can either be a source of stress or a source of relief. carefully choosing who you spend your time and energy with can help you define this.

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