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5 Ways of Recognizing Stress

I’m not somebody that’s ever considered myself stressed very easily.  I’m not claiming to never feel stressed, but normally my brain operation is fine (meaning I rarely feel stressed internally); but I do show signs of stress in my body. At the not yet old age of 35…I’m learning the tell-tale signs of knowing I’m stressed.  Here are 5 ways I’ve learned to recognize Stress in my life!

  • I stop sleeping.  This one is easy, but often after 3 or 4 nights of sleepless chaos I will realize that maybe I’m giving way to much thought to a particular issue or situation.  Crazy that it takes me 3 or 4 nights to come to this conclusion, huh?
  • Headaches.  Sometimes I’m sleeping well enough, but then I’ll be tortured for a few days with terrible come-and-go headaches.  I’m always able to push through to a certain extent, but the feeling of a ticking time bomb in your head is no way to live.
  • I start drinking.  Now, now…I’m not talking the dizzy-inducing variety of tonic.  I’m speaking of the caffeinated variety.  There are days that 3 or 4 shot espresso’s will not placate my body, and I’ll grab multiple cans of soda at work and still am looking for more caffeine.  Simply put, when I’m refreshed and energized then one cup of coffee in the morning will always suffice.
  • I snap uncharacteristically.  When I’m stressed, I’ll find myself going to bed each night thinking through the list of people I owe an apology to from the day of my overreacting and  biting  peoples heads off.  Oh wait, am I the only one?  Sorry.
  • I isolate myself.  When stressed, I withdraw as much as humanely possible.  In a home with 4 kids, this is nearly impossible…but I’ll find myself getting angry that I never have enough alone time; when I really do.

So these are a few of my signs of stress.  When I notice myself living out of these paradigms, then it’s time to evaluate.  And evaluate we will…on the next post!

So heres the question: How do you recognize stress in your life?  How long does it usually take you to realize that stress is overtaking parts of your life that it shouldn’t?

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.