The Spiraling Effect

If I spent half as much time actually doing the things that I spend way too much time thinking about doing, I would be far more productive and have more time on my hands.

If I stopped putting so much pressure on myself to accomplish everything I think I should be doing, I would have a lot less stress in my life and feel a greater sense of accomplishment.

If I had a lot less stress in my life, I would be virtually free from the captivity of stress related ailments and admittedly, the occasional spell of out of body bad behavior. Stress starts the chain reaction but even more so, it begets a vicious cycle. . .a spiraling effect.  What should be infrequent becomes every day. What should be forbidden becomes tolerated. What should be addressed becomes overlooked. We are hardly to blame but we have no one to blame but ourselves . . . a vicious cycle, indeed! Here are three tell tale signs that the spiraling effect is sucking you into the vortex.

Restless Sleep: Stress can get into sleep cycles which results in the feeling of not having slept at all. Whether it is insomnia, a restless night of tossing and turning or deep dreams that zap the very energy meant to be replenished, stress will wreak havoc on your ability to get a good night sleep. In addition, teeth grinding, night sweats and snoring are all danger signs that stress is making the body work overtime with no regard to the sleep patterns (especially uninterrupted REM sleep) that are critical to maintaining good health.

Fighting Fatigue: Fatigue and stress are a bad combination. Stress causes fatigue and being tired all of the time escalates the level of stress on any given situation. The more exhausted a person is, the more sleep is needed, yet chronic stress is more likely to result in sleep deprivation. Fatigue effects productivity, the ability to think clearly and the deftness to act quickly. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can actually effect drivers in the same manner as being intoxicated.

Tension Headache: Tension headaches happen when the muscle and skeleton around the neck and scalp tighten. They are the most common result of stress and can last hours or days depending on the person. As part of the spiraling effect, tension headaches are often caused by and greatly exacerbated by fatigue. The more tired and stressed you are, the more likely they are to occur and to last. They are rarely debilitating but can temporarily affect fine motor skills, productivity and overall mood, which nonetheless, can feel debilitating!

All of this and more can change but it will take you to break the cycle and end the spiraling effect. There are more tell tale signs that signal the need to reclaim a consistently healthy and valued quality of life. As for now, if you take just one stressor off your emotional plate, you will begin to see a change. So, relax and think of something that you can stress less about. Set your mind to making that commitment and go enjoy a full but more manageable plate. I am going to stop stressing about moving items from today’s To Do list onto tomorrow’s.  I’m going to allow myself some flexibility. What will you allow yourself today? Relax. Set. Go.

Leave a Reply