1. You Have No Energy.
You’re tired all day at work and using lots of coffee to try to stay awake. By now you may even have a pretty good tolerance for it and it doesn’t work as much anymore. The fatigue may be intense and doesn’t really go away with sleep. After work, you may be finding yourself so drained you don’t have the desire to do much of anything. Weekends are a little better, but you’re mostly just wanting to rest.
2. You’re Getting Sick A Lot.
It can start slow and creep up on you, a cold here, a sinus infection there, and then you find yourself taking more and more sick days and generally feeling crappy most of the time. Your performance in the gym declines, you may find yourself gaining a few extra unwanted pounds and don’t know why. For some, you may eventually find yourself with a diagnosis for something more serious. How did you get here? It’s well known that stress decreases your immune response leaving you vulnerable to illness. And it’s pretty stressful to force yourself to be happy in a life that doesn’t really fit you.
3. You’re Forgetting Stuff.
Important team meeting? Whoops. You forgot. Whatever your boss said to you 5 minutes ago about editing that presentation? You can’t really remember the details. It’s totally embarrassing and maybe not like you at all to be forgetful. It’s like something’s messing with you brain. You know what? You’re right. There is. It’s stress. Stress is scientifically proven to interfere with how the brain processes information and stores memories. You’re not going crazy or losing your mind, it’s stress.
4. You’re in Fight-or-Flight Most Of The Day.
Fight-or-Flight is your body’s instinctive physiological response to a threatening situation. It was most helpful in the days when we may have had to fend off a tiger. It puts your body into a heightened state, stirring up all kinds of chemicals and hormones in the body. We all know Fight-or-Flight to arise when a certain stressful event happens, but when you’re under chronic day-to-day stress from an unhappy life situation it can become your body’s default setting. And that’s not good at all. Those Fight-or-Flight chemicals and hormones can not only cause you to start experiencing all the other things on this list, if left unchecked you can do some serious damage to your health.
5. You’re More Moody/Emotional.
You’re finding yourself with all the feels. Maybe you’ve got a shorter fuse than you’d like, or get easily overwhelmed and cry more often now. It could be any other emotion, but you’re just feeling it all more intensely now and when you look back later you don’t know what came over you. It can get embarrassing.
6. Your Minor Addictions/Habits/Vices Are In Full Swing.
This can especially apply to hyper-responsible, perfectionistic folks. And it doesn’t have to be a full-blown thing, but anything that dulls the constant sense of yearning emptiness (eating, sex, alcohol/drugs, shopping, gambling or even the more virtuous and socially acceptable behaviors like over-exercising, constant/extreme dieting, or over working). These behaviors are all a sign that something is out of sync in your life. And it won’t loosen its grip until we learn to take a look at it and act lovingly toward ourselves.