Stress is part of life. For many people, stress can help get things done, put a little pressure on the system, help us rise to the occasion. But prolonged stress can also be incredibly damaging to our mental, physical and emotional health.  This means we need to be aware of our stress levels and make life adjustments when necessary. When things fall out of balance, it becomes necessary to right the world and find balance on that beam. Especially for people in recovery who need to be vigilant about their health and wellness.

Prolonged stress on a person can lead to serious, long-term health issues.

We can feel stress from pretty much anything – the pressure to get good grades in school, performance at work in a sometimes competitive or “high-paced” environment. Relationships and family can cause stress for sure, as can life events. Hell, when my dog misses a meal, I feel stressed – what’s wrong with him? Why can’t he tell me how to fix it? Uncertainty causes stress. There’s ton’s of uncertainty in the world right now.

Here’s some information to assess yourself to see if stress might be too much a part of our lives.

The most recognized physical manifestations of stress are:
1. Low energy
2. Headaches
3. Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
4. Aches, pains, and tense muscles
5. Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
6. Insomnia
7. Frequent colds and infections
8. Loss of sexual desire and or ability

The most recognized symptoms of behavioral stress are:
1. Depression
2. Anxiety, agitation
3. Moodiness, irritability or anger
4. Feeling overwhelmed
5. Loneliness and isolation

Now, a lot of these symptoms can arise from a variety of reasons, so try and apply common sense when being self-reflective. If stress isn’t a factor and you have symptoms, you’re probably sick so see a doctor. If you feel super anxious and unhappy and have physical symptoms, then pay attention to these symptoms and think about whether your life may be causing more stress than is right for you.

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Lindsey Glass

Lindsey Glass is the co-founder of Reach Out Recovery. Her 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World Of Recovery, has helped to lift the stigma from addiction and recovery and is used in recovery programs nationwide to show what life is like on the other side of addiction. Lindsey's teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, was distributed to PBS stations nationwide by American Public Television in 2014-15. Lindsey has written dozens of popular articles on recovery. She is a recovery advocate and frequent keynote speaker. Lindsey is the author of 100 Tips for Growing Up, My 20 Years of Recovery, 2019. Before focusing on recovery, Lindsey was a TV and screenwriter. She has worked in publishing, web development, and marketing.

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