Five signs of stress to watch out for

Your body reacts to stress in many ways and when you are stressed out, your general health is diminished. Here are five of the most noticeable signs that stress has taken over your body.

1. Sneezing or sniffling: It may be the common cold, or a weakened immune system. Thus, your sensitivity to various allergens has heightened.

Solution: Exercise. Taking a brisk walk every day for at least 20 minutes gets your blood pumping and your heart rate up. Both are important for your immune system to rebound, as well as bring your stress level down.

2. Breaking out: A stressful situation causes your body to emit adrenaline, which can help you act quickly physically if needed. Unfortunately, it can also prompt an excess amount of sebum, the oil found in facial pores.

Solution: Keep your face cleansed twice a day. Purchasing a new cleanser for medium to high oily skin can further help combat your pimple outbreaks.

3. Patchy scalp: With high anxiety, stress hormones tend to affect hair follicles, interfering with hair growth.

Solution: Up your mineral and vitamin intake to jump start hair growth. Omega-3 fatty acids like those found in salmon and vitamin B12 all provide nourishment for healthy hair.

4. Painful jaw movements: Some people tend to grind their teeth when stressed-out, even during sleep.

Solution: Relaxing your muscles before bed may also naturally keep your jaw relaxed. Using a warm compress on your jaw can also help. If the grinding persists, your dentist can provide a specialized mouth guard to keep your teeth from being damaged.

5. Strong appetite for junk food: In addition to adrenaline, your body also pumps out cortisol, a hormone responsible for craving sweets and other unhealthy foods for energy purposes.

Solution: Tying these random cravings to any stressful moments you may have recently experienced can help you resist the bag of chips and instead turn to a healthier alternative like Wheat Thins or sugar-less gum until the craving subsides.

These five symptoms are only a few of the many reactions our bodies have to high anxiety. Stress can harmfully affect all aspects of our lives, from eating habits and appearance, to mental wellness. It is important to identify how your body changes during and after stressful situations so that you can begin to develop better reactions to stress, and therefore, a better state of living.

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