When I was young, I never thought I got stressed. I thought to myself, “What is there to stress about?” It’s not like I had thousands of dollars worth of debt, or a family to feed. All I had to figure out was how to pass the classes that I procrastinated in, what school I was going to, how I would pay for school, and how I was going to make a living.
Oh wait. Those were really stressful decisions; but, at the time, I didn’t realize how stressed out I was. In fact, throughout most of my life I’ve been a stressed individual. Thankfully, I’m learning how to deal with my stress, but I first had to learn what stress actually is.
Stress is external factors that affect your internal character.
If you’re anything like I was, reading the definition of stress doesn’t mean you fully understand the meaning. In order to make improvements in my life, I needed to learn some of the signs of stress. Below are some of the signs I’ve learned from personal experience and studying. I hope these signs help you determine if you are stressed or not. I encourage you to evaluate yourself as honestly as possible. Stress that’s not dealt with can lead to burnout which has immense physiological problems that can take years to deal with.
Rate yourself from 1 – 10 (10 meaning this statement is very true for you)
- I cry (or want to cry) often.
- I overreact in many situations.
- I tend to walk in anxiety.
- I lack motivation and drive.
- I procrastinate getting things done.
- I feel overwhelmed for no apparent reason.
- I’m always on edge, as if everything has a sense of urgency.
- I have this internal wrestle when someone invites me to go do something.
- When I’m with people, all I can think about is my to do list.
- When I have a deadline, I tend to eat more comfort foods.
- There are parts of my body that are more tense than others.
- God is the first place I run to when I’m struggling.
- I find comfort in God’s Word when I’m struggling.
- I praise the Lord in the midst of difficult situations.
- I believe God is in control all of the time.
Once you rate yourself in all of these areas, look at the top 5 statements you rated yourself highest on. Add those up and if the sum is higher than 35, you’re probably dealing with some stressful situations that you need to work through.
I’ve also used these statements to help me indicate in which areas of my life stress starts to show up first. For example, I’ve noticed that I may only be a “4” on fourteen of these statements, but an “8” when it comes to my body tensing up (question 11). I then take this information and admit that there are small amounts of stress in my life. If I don’t acknowledge it, then the stress can build up to a point where I am paralyzed in making effective decisions.
Realizing that you have stress is the first step to dealing with it. The second is learning how to manage your stress. If you’re interested in learning how to do this, then I would encourage you to check out this blog.
This list isn’t exhaustive but it’s a start. What are some other stress signs in your life you can be looking out for?
Cover photo taken from: https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/2930381/stressed-out-people-are-more-likely-to-pile-on-the-pounds-by-comfort-eating-finds-study/