When your schedule is jam-packed with commitments, your work load gets piled higher and higher, and your family life is enormously demanding, you are bound to experience stress. The scary part is, if you’ve been living this way for a while you may be out of touch with your own stress signals. You may have gotten used to operating under extreme stress and now deem this feeling to be “normal.”
If you don’t recognize stress, how can you soothe it? Sometimes your friends and family know best…
For a while, every time I saw my mom she’d make a comment about how tired I looked. It made me so angry. Why did she feel that it was okay to critique me like that? Her constant comments put me on edge and made me feel irritable and overwhelmed.
“I’m not tired; this is just how I look!” I’d snap back.
Until I took a step back and looked at it another way. The truth is, her comments weren’t what was making me feel irritable. Her comments were an observation of the overwhelming stress I was experiencing, yet to which I remained blind.
It was time for me to make a change in my stressful lifestyle.
If your loved ones point out your signals of stress, don’t write them off. It may be the last thing you want to hear at the time, but its important to take it seriously. Here are some red flags that others might notice in you:
You don’t act like yourself.
Maybe you’re secretive than you once were. Or you’re quicker to anger. Or you stopped doing the things you once loved. Or you’re crying more often.
You don’t sound like yourself.
Maybe you are making more negative comments lately. Or you’ve drastically shifted your viewpoint on a critical issue. Or you’re apologizing when you haven’t done anything wrong.
You don’t look like yourself.
Maybe your style of dress has changed quite a bit. Or your hygiene has gone downhill. Or you’ve either put on or dropped a significant amount of weight.