Stress: What’s Normal and What’s Not?

Believe it or not, stress is actually normal and can be extremely beneficial to us. When we feel threatened or in danger our body responds with stress. This, in turn, helps us kick into a fight/flight response, which helps to get us out of dangerous situations. So the stress response is the body’s way of protecting itself in very helpful ways. It can help us stay focused, better prepare for a speech, test, etc., give us energy and strength to fight off attackers, etc. It can, quite literally, save our lives.

However, when stress is not managed well, it can get out of control and can be harmful to our health. It not only affects our health, but also our moods, the way we think, and the way we behave.

Man stresses over his bill while his wife and child stand in the background.

Some symptoms of stress are:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Anxiety
  • Constant worrying
  • Anger (angry outbursts) or sadness
  • Inability to sleep or stay asleep
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Aches and pains
  • Loss of taking pleasure in things that used to please us
  • Feeling insecure
  • Over or under eating
  • Drinking too much or using drugs
  • Memory loss

If you feel like the above symptoms are out of control or that stress has gotten the better of you, then it’s time to seek professional help.