9 Signs You're Not Handling Stress as Well as You Think

9 Signs You're Not Handling Stress as Well as You Think

Oh, sure, you make time for meditation. Don't eat crap. Vent about your probs to close friends. You're handling your stress just fiiiiine! The question is, is that enough?

Stress is an insidious condition -- easy to catch, hard as hell to get rid of for good. And just because you're not curled into a fetal position in your closet, gorging on stale Girl Scout cookies, doesn't mean you're A-okay.

Check out these super-subtle signs that stress is still doing a number on you. (Then figure out some ways to knock it back down.)


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  • You're binge-watching 'Friends.'

    Image via iStock.com/TARIK KIZILKAYA

    Or Gilmore Girls. Or The Big Bang Theory. Hell, maybe you're tapping Cheers. Research shows that when you're stressed, you crave familiarity and knowing what's coming next.

    Re-watching your fave shows is an attempt to improve your mood by hanging out with friendly faces. Not real friends, mind you, but, uh, friends nevertheless.

  • Your gums, they are a-bleeding.

    Image via iStock.com/Marc Dufresne

    Stress can actually constrict blood flow to your gums. And decrease your saliva production. And turn down your immune system so that more bacteria invades your mouth. See where we're going with this? Gum disease, sister.

  • You can't look at your bank account.

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    23 percent of Americans -- and 36 percent of Millennials -- are so super-stressed about finances that their symptoms, including denial, avoidance, and irritability about their money habits, mimic those of PTSD.

    More from CafeMom5 Ways to Handle Money Stress Without Freaking on Your Partner

  • Your stomach's killing you, for reals.

    Image via iStock.com/ Milan Markovic

    Stomach aches, constipation, diarrhea -- these are all signs that your anxiety's getting the best of you. And according to one study, the more threatening your stress, the more intense your symptoms could be. (By threatening, we don't mean being chased down a dark alley, but being faced with problems you feel unable to deal with.)

  • You feel like the room's spinning.

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    Stress is a common cause of dizziness, especially if you get so agitated that you overbreathe, i.e., feel like you're about to hyperventilate.

  • You're spending hella time on the toilet.

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    Did you really drink a s***tload of water today? Because if so, fine. But if your mouth is dry and you've mostly been only thinking about getting a drink of water, those trips to the toilet indicate that you are STRESSED.

    More from CafeMom: The Age Women Hit Peak Stress Levels Is No Surprise at All

  • You're wearing the same clothes you slept in.

    Image via iStock.com/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

    It's normal to occasionally oversleep and have to throw on your robe over your PJs to get the kids to school. (Or, uh, is that just us?) But when you're losing interest in your appearance every single DAY, you're stressed.

  • You rarely get a good night's sleep.

    Image via iStock.com/milos-kreckovic

    Such a stereotype: the panic-stricken woman laying in bed, staring wide-eyed at the ceiling. Except that it's true. Most people who self-identify as "stressed" have trouble sleeping at least once a week ... which, you know, only makes stress WORSE.

  • Fast food? Yes, please!

    Image via iStock.com/4kodiak

    In small doses, stress shuts down your appetite. But a LOT of it ramps up your desire to eat. And not a healthy spinach salad. Oh, no. Studies show that stress makes you crave high-sugar, fat-filled comfort foods. It's your body's frantic way of trying to turn off the part of your brain that controls stress.

    More from CafeMom: 12 Serious Scientific Facts About Women & Stress

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