If you have a to-do list wordier than David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, you’re certainly not alone. Our incessant need to feel productive is only one petal on the flower we’ll use as a soft symbol for chronic stress. Then there’s a petal associated with the pressure to perform at work, another petal for coping with our relationships, one for bills, etc. Stress can feel unavoidable and perpetual.
The American Institute of Stress found that 73% of people experience stress that has an effect on their mental health and 77% of people have noticed stress presenting as physical symptoms in their bodies. You heard that right. Stress can have a very real effect on your physical health. If you’re a power-through-the-pain kind of person or so preoccupied that you don’t notice just how stressed you are, it might help to pay attention to some subtle ways your body could be asking you to slow down.