Posted March 1, 2018
Hives, insomnia, headaches, upset stomach, and chest pain are common signs of stress. Nearly 80 percent of Americans report feeling stressed each day. Some stress can be healthy, boosting memory, increasing resilience and providing motivation to complete tasks. But prolonged stress can lead to serious medical problems.
Here are seven reasons you’re feeling stressed or anxious:
- Finances – Nearly 65 percent of Americans report losing sleep because of worries over finances. Researchers report that people with financial stress can be 13 times more likely to have a heart attack. It also can cause depression, sadness, hopelessness, heart disease, or cancer. Ease your concerns by working with a financial adviser to develop a budget and long-term investment plan.
- Work – Many employees feel compelled to work harder and do more with less. Often workers come in early, stay late, skip lunch breaks or work weekends to meet employers’ expectations. Researchers report that prolonged exposure to work-related stress can increase the risk for certain cancers, such as rectal, stomach, lung, colon, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Reduce the effects of stress by taking a brisk walk during lunch, exercising five days a week for 30 minutes before or after work, getting at least seven hours of sleep, or adopting a fun hobby that takes your mind off things.
- Current events – Concerns about worldwide problems, natural disasters, pandemic health issues, and community crimes increase people’s worries and fears. This type of ambient stress can increase the risk for illness, weight gain and physical pain. Doctors recommend limiting exposure to daily news and negative people and participating in uplifting activities, such as yoga classes, dancing lessons or having dinner with friends, avoiding topics about politics or current events.
- Life changes – Accidents, illness, divorce or the death of a loved one can be devastating. It’s important to take time to cope with these unexpected events. Talking with a friend or a professional counselor can help you process emotions and heal. Or, find a local support group that meets regularly, so you can discuss your feelings with people who are going through similar situations. It’s nice to know you are not alone.
- Childhood trauma – Natural disasters, vehicle accidents, war and sexual assault, can cause children to feel unsafe, anxious and stressed. If these issues are not addressed during childhood, they can cause adults to experience chronic stress and health problems. Talk with a doctor or therapist to work through feelings associated with traumatic experiences.
- City living – Many people are attracted to city life because of the rich opportunities for jobs entertainment, nightlife, and recreational activities. However, traffic, noise, overcrowding and poor air quality can cause people to feel more stressed, depressed, and anxious. If moving to a quieter community is not an option, health experts recommend participating in activities that you enjoy to help relieve stress.
- Parenting – Stress seems to go together with parenting. Through all the ages and stages of life, parents worry about every illness and experience their children face. However, worry and stress can cause many health problems. Doctors recommend combatting parental stress by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and spending fun times with a partner or friends.