Stress affects majority of the population, whether it is ongoing, or just every so often. However, it can be difficult to realise how it may be affecting your body. Statistics show that there has been a 28% rise in people experiencing long-term stress and a third of British people are reported to be suffering from stress for at least an entire day, per week.
The vast majority of people will have knowledge on the more common signs of stress; tension, constant headache and poor quality sleep, but there are numerous signs that are usually dismissed as other problems.
Miss Velile Ndebele from Aqualibria Colon Hydrotherapy MediaSpa talks through three hidden signs that your body could be finding it difficult to deal with your stress levels.
Eczema or inflamed skin
Eczema or inflamed skin is a possible symptom of stress. Although it is usually more likely to occur if you already suffer from chronic dry skin or eczema, stress may trigger it for the first time.
This symptom can be a vicious cycle – anxiety and stress are common causes of flare ups, but suffering from inflamed skin may result in additional anxiety and stress, thus creating an even more intense flare up.
Eczema and skin inflammation can be difficult to keep under control. Depending on the level of inflammation, you may need to go to the doctors to get a more intense cream. However, ensuring you are doing everything to keep your skin moisturised and healthy is essential in reducing the chances of chronically dry skin.
Purchase a deep, perfume free moisturiser to help prevent itchy skin. Keep a record on things that could cause irritated skin such as fragrances and washing powders. Do not forget that certain foods may trigger inflamed skin due to allergies or intolerances; the three main foods that contribute to inflamed skin include nuts, wheat and milk. Take note of when your flare ups occur and see if there is a pattern between this and stressful periods.
Getting ill regularly
Another symptom that many people do not associate with stress is getting ill regularly. Many people will suspect that they have become ill due to a bug spreading or because of the weather; they will rarely realise it down to stress.
The reason that this happens is because when you are experiencing a stressful time, specific hormones will affect the body’s capability to develop white blood cells; this will increase the chances of becoming ill due to your body not being able to fight off infections.
Certain events in life could be knowingly or unknowingly creating stress for you. If you are someone who is often ill, take time out to think about whether it could be linked with stress; whether the stress is a small, festering issue or a dramatic life changing decision. When it comes to battling with this sign of stress, the best way to deal with it is to face the problem head on.
Have a conversation about your worries to the people closest to you, exercise regularly to release the stress rather than holding onto it or simply take a break, relax and spend quality time with loved ones. Getting the worries or issues off your chest will make you feel as though a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Poor gut health
Finally, poor gut health is a sign that your body is struggling to cope with stress. If you have no evidence that your ongoing gut problems are because of an allergy or intolerance, it is more than likely going to be down to stress. Constipation, IBS, wind and bloating are all common symptoms of poor gut health.
Specific research proves that long term stress can negatively affect the millions of healthy bacteria living in your bowels and gut. When suffering heightened stress levels, the brain will go into flight-or-fight mode – this impacting the flow of blood to your gut and causing distress to your entire system.
Feelings of stress or anxiety will cause that gut wrench feeling, nausea or unpleasant problems such as diarrhea. There is a direct link between the brain, stomach and intestines. As a result of this connection, a person’s bowel or stomach can be the reason or cause of anxiety or stress.
Tips to ensure you are doing everything possible to have a healthy gut include keeping hydrated by drinking 2 – 3 litres of water per day, eating a clean diet, getting 7 – 9 hours of quality sleep and exercising regularly. However, if you are still have issues with your bowel movements, there are further procedures and treatments that can help you combat this. Colon hydrotherapy or specialised massage are good alternative treatments that will help minimise lasting aggravation.
Remember, everyone is unique and every body will react to stress in a different ways. Make sure you engage with your body by listening to it when it’s showing unusual signs; look after yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. This is key for living a happy, less stressful life.
For more information visit www.aqualibria.com.