It is no surprise that many people in the US are still experiencing "post-election stress disorder" and specifically, "post-Trump stress disorder."
And if that wasn't enough, we also have to simultaneously deal with everyday life, such as work, school, upcoming holidays and relationships.
With our stress levels surging and getting uglier, it's time to take notice and take care of the physical and emotional symptoms that come with it.
Here are six tell-tale signs you could be more stressed than you think:
1. Poor Posture/Body Language
Stress has a physical component. A
According to WebMD, 43 percent of adults experience physical symptoms caused by stress. How we sit and stand becomes much more contained when we're stressed.
If you notice you're hunching your shoulders, slouching or crossing your arms, think about your posture. Open up your body by standing tall, pushing your shoulders back and extending your spine.
Physically expanding your body helps counter stress. Power posing is one of the most powerful and efficient ways to better body language and increased confidence.
2. Shallow Breathing
When under stress you breath more shallow and in your chest. Behavior specialist Dr. Marcie Beigel, Founder of Behavior+Beyond and author of "Love Your Classroom Again," teaches this to her clients:
“Taking slow deep breaths into your body will help you relax and think more clearly. Put your hands on your stomach and feel it expand as you breathe in slowly, and then feel your stomach feel back as you breathe out. Count to four as you breathe in and four as you breathe out. Do this 10 times every morning and each night and you will see a long term impact on your stress level.”
3. Language Shorter and Sharper
If you are finding that you are barking directions at people and snappily jumping to conclusions, check yourself.
“One way to avoid impulsive responses is to actually count one, two, three in your head before responding to a question or remark,” Dr. Beigel says. The time will give you a chance to formulate your best response.
4. Drinking, Smoking and Eating Unhealthy Foods Way More
Stress can be managed in productive/healthy ways or in unproductive/unhealthy ways. Drinking alcohol, smoking, eating more sugar and white flour and watching more TV are all habits associated with numbing yourself to some degree.
Notice your habits! If you are constantly needing a drink at the end of your workday, you are stressed.
Dr. Beigel says to “find healthier ways to reduce stress, like taking a 10-minute walk outside of your office during your workday or calling someone you care about. Small breaks result in a big impact.”
5. Being more negative and aggressive toward people around you
If you find yourself feeling negative about more people and feeling the need to be aggressive with more people, it's time to check on your stress levels.
The 2016 election is the perfect example of low tolerance and bullying because of Donald Trump's rhetoric and actions. Dr. Beigel says, “The rise in behavior challenges can be seen in the rise in bullying. One part of the challenge is that few adults know what to do with bullying in their own lives. You can't teach children to behave if you don't know how to yourself!”
6. Working Out Compulsively or Completely Stopping Working Out
According to Celebrity Fitness Trainer Jillian Michaels, one of the worst workout habits is not knowing your limits, a phrase which translates into many aspects of lifestyle when someone is stressed. And according to Psychology Today, the real reason why some people don't workout is to avoid any experience of discomfort, which is partly understandable if someone is stressed and drained, but also ironic because physical activity is proven to decrease stress levels and overall discomfort.
It's all about balance – always. No overdoing it, no under doing it. Keep the balance in physical fitness and your overall wellness, and you'll be on the right track to feeling better.