These days, it can be all too easy to lose track of our emotional health. After all, our emotions don’t pay the bills, right?
In a way, they kind of do. Your emotional health plays a huge role in how well you can get work done, largely because it can manifest in physical symptoms. The good news is that that means that even if you aren’t very in touch with your emotions, there are symptoms that you can watch for to know if your emotional health is well or not.
Stress And Emotional Health
This article will talk about stress a lot because stress is what often causes upsets in our emotional health. It's important to remember, however, that we often think about stress in dangerously simple terms.
It's easy to think of stress as a 1980s business man with back-to-back business meetings whose only lunch is doughnuts and coffee brought in by his secretary, but biologically “stress” is anything that your body needs to adjust to, from a tough job to a loss in the family. Stress can even come from good things like a promotion, or a birth in the family.
Emotional Health And Your Weight
Stress can impact our weight in a number of ways, however it is usually associated with weight gain, largely because of a chemical called cortisol. This “messenger molecule” is created by your body when you’re stressed and impacts the kinds of foods that you crave, how much you crave, and how your body uses and stores those nutrients.
Stress can also cause weight gain if you are in too much of a hurry to eat good food and opt for less-healthy but more convenient options.
Sometimes, however, stress can also cause weight loss. This can happen when stress increases your caloric needs and/or eating stops being one of your priorities.
Emotional Health And Your Energy
Another physical symptom of emotional distress is exhaustion. Anxiety and depression can both manifest as a lack of energy that can become so bad as to be completely debilitating.
Many people think that when people don’t do things because of anxiety and depression it is because they simply don’t want to. While this may be the case early on, these emotional imbalances can be physically draining. This can lead some people, who misunderstand the relationship between emotions and energy, to assume that their lack of energy must be from a physical source.
If you regularly feel exhausted, even after a good night's sleep or a day of non-physically demanding task, it might be a sign that your emotional self is not well.
Emotional Health And Sleep
On the topic of sleep, not getting enough can also be a sign of emotional distress. Stress can impact the quality of sleep, as well as making it harder to fall asleep so that you get less of it.
This is partially because it is hard to fall asleep when you have something on your mind, and partially because of the imbalances in messenger molecules that stress can cause.
The worst part is that not getting a good night’s sleep because of stress can increase the levels of stress that you experience the next day, making it even harder for you to regain your emotional health.
Emotional Health And Headaches
Many of us may not know that stress can cause headaches, while others can take it for granted. Stress is the leading cause of headaches, and while it isn’t the only source of headaches, stress can also trigger headaches caused by other sources.
If you regularly get headaches, it could be a sign that your emotional self is not well, especially if you can identity strong correlations between your headaches and what you are doing when or just before they start.
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