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7 signs that say you’re ready to take care of your stress

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Do you know that one of the deadliest diseases of the 21st century is stress? You may want to argue with me on that and say that no, because the most common cause of death is cancer, heart attack, stroke or maybe it’s not even a disease but events such as car accidents, plane crashes, or war?

But if you dissect each commodity into individual elements, you most likely find a trace that goes back to stress.

We all say that we’re stressed all the time, or even expect to be stressed. Have you ever justified your stress? ‘Well, I’m a new parent, of course, I’m stressed!’ or ‘I’ve just been promoted. Stress is part of the role.’

In a way, we expect to be stressed at certain points in our lives. You may even have a strategy or two to manage it temporarily.

But at some other point in your life, you may start seeing a lot of signs telling you that you’re ready to take care of the stress once and for all.

And let me tell you that it’s better to take care of the stress, rather than let the stress take care of you.

That’s why I’m excited about today’s blog post because not only you get to recognise some signs which can help to move you in the right direction. I also created this downloadable 5 planning strategies to manage your time better so you can achieve more and feel in control of your day cheat sheet to help you to find this most precious resources you have!

How stress shows up in you

Let’s start with saying that stress is good for you.

Wait, what?

Yes, mother nature designed humans to thrive on short lived stress. A short-lived stress, or what scientists call acute stress, is actually good and necessary for our survival. Thanks to stress we are still here. On the Earth, I mean.

Our body’s response to stress is exactly the same as our ancestors 100,000 years ago. The stress response that happens in our bodies is pretty straightforward: your brain perceives a threat, signals your body it’s either time to flight or fight, your limbs are being mobilised to either face the threat or run away and you act accordingly.

This stress response worked for our ancestors so well because it was vital to their survival. If our ancestors were chased by an animal, the quickness of the flight or fight response (the stress response) ensured their survival. Or not. We needed it to be able to access the environment all the time, avoid any danger and ultimately evolve. Our body was able to cope with the short outbursts of stress it experienced.

Think how you feel when you’re positively stressed? You’re motivated, energetic, and even perform better (hello Olympic athletes!). Acute stress helps you to grow.

Unfortunately, the problem we encounter is when acute stress turns into a chronic stress. And that’s the stress you most likely experience today. A chronic stress has got a lot to do with immunological illnesses.

Let me explain. During the fight or flight response (so when you are in a state of stress) your body goes through a lot of chemical changes. Your bloodstream is flooded with hormones and neurotransmitters which if they have stayed for too long in your organism (or you experience them too often) will cause damage to your immune system.

Because chronic stress is harmful on a biological level.

Something that was supposed to be a one-off event, turned into a lifelong stream of stressful events. And now, instead of feeling invigorated to go to work, you feel anxious, instead of feeling excited to see your partner, you feel angry and instead of facing your emotional pain, you reach for another glass of wine.

But the good news is that you’ve been sent signs to tell you that say that you’re ready to take care of your stress. So, have a look at the signs now and see which one (or ones) you can recognise as yours.

Sign # 1

You’re tired all the time

Stress can severely impact your energy levels. It’s hard to feel like being active when you have no energy left after the stressful day you’ve just had.

And I’m not only talking about your physical energy, but your mental energy suffers too. You’re tired all the time because stress saps all vital energy from you. After the stress hormones such as epinephrine (known as adrenaline) wear off you feel depleted. There are no more hormones left to keep you moving. If you feel tired from time to time, that’s OK. Your body and mind get tired and need rest. But if you feel tired all the time, stress is wearing you down and it’s time to do something about it.

Sign #2

You don’t have time for anything

Stress’s best pal is overwhelmed. Actually one cannot exist without the other. Stress creates the overwhelm you feel, which ultimately brings you to a lack of time.

Overwhelm comes from having the pressure that you need to do it all, meet all the deadlines, bake all those cupcakes. And because there are not enough hours in your day to do it all, you feel stressed.

Sign #3

You can’t sleep

Lack of sleep is a very common symptom of prolonged stress. It’s the tossing and turning that stress makes you do that prevents your body from producing enough melatonin (the sleep hormone) so you can’t rest.

Sleep is essential to your health. Without sleep, you cannot function. Period.

If you don’t sleep one or two nights, from time to time, that’s OK. As long as you put proper measures in place to catch up on your sleep.

However, if due to stress you can’t sleep on a consistent basis, your health suffers tremendously. Your immune system weakness and it can’t protect your body from getting sick.

Sign #4

You’re irritated and angry all the time

Stress certainly affects your mood. Have you ever felt energized, full of euphoria one minute, and the other minute you were sad or even angry?

Stress can take you through an array of emotions, both good and bad, but the common characteristic is that it changes very fast and very drastically. For your optimal health, you need to experience all emotions. Anger, sadness, or fear are often classified as ‘negative’ emotions, but they are important for your growth. Emotions are a little bit like waves, they come and go, but they shouldn’t stay for too long. Especially if you’re feeling angry, irritated, or frustrated. If you find yourself feeling down for prolonged periods of time, it’s time to take care of stress.

Sign #5

You’re lacking direction in your life

Stress uses this powerful technique of derailing your life. When you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, add tiredness and lack of motivation too, it’s hard to see bright future. It’s hard to see where you’re going. Heck, sometimes it’s even hard to see where you are in life because stress is all you see.

Lacking direction in life is a very common sign that you’re so stressed that you stopped paying attention as to what path you were heading. A lot of us, don’t spend enough time assessing where we want to go and what we want to accomplish. You may have a vague idea or most likely you might have had one some time ago, but now you don’t even know what you want out of life.

Maybe you achieved some degree of the traditional success like family, home, career (in whatever manner it means successful to you), or maybe you are truly stuck because you simply don’t know what it really means to you to be successful anymore.

My Dear Friend, what stress is not letting you do, is the one thing you have to do: pause and re-evaluate what keeps you stuck in your life.


You’re going through tough times

This is a very sensitive sign because no one wants to deal with the inevitable. I know that what I’m about to say may seem hard to agree with, but the research shows that each one of us will go through at least three major disasters in their life. Of course, the scientific data doesn’t tell each one of us how many you get to go through, but the bottom line is that you will face some hardship in life. Maybe it’s a divorce, death of a loved parent too early in your life, illness, trauma, loss of a job.

Whatever the tough event happens to be for you, it will take you through grief.

Grief is a natural healing process, and it has to happen for you to be able to move on. There is no time limit on how long your grief will last for because only time can heal.

However, if you find yourself years and years down the line still sitting in that event and not being able to move forward, the stress of that event overtook your life. It’s a sign, you’re ready to take care of the stress to have your life back.


You’re not motivated

Motivation is an interesting concept because there are a lot of factors influencing your level of motivation. After a long, stressful event you may not feel motivated to do anything. And that’s perfectly healthy because your body and mind need recovery time too. You should not feel like you have to go, go and go all the time.

But if lack of motivation is your permanent state, then stress moved in with you. It’s hard to feel motivated and excited when all you do is running on empty all day long and not even knowing why you’re doing it.

The healthiest motivation you can have is the one coming from within. But you see, if stress took that central position, then it’s hard to find any space for motivation. It’s time you’ve got your motivation back.


When it comes to one of the events you experience from time to time, stress is good for you. It can mobilise you, motivate you and make you excited. But above all, it can make you grow and evolve. You were created to do just that.

But if your 'one of event' turns into a chronic stress, then your stress is deadly. Your body was not designed to cope with a constant burst of stress hormones devastating your immune system every moment of your life.

Those 7 signs are saying that you’re ready to take care of your stress now:

Sign 1 You’re tired all the time – we came to believe that feeling tired all the time is the new norm. But it doesn’t have to be, and it shouldn’t be. When your body accommodates stress, there is no energy left for you to do anything and you feel tired.

Sign 2 - You don’t have time for anything – here comes the overwhelm. With so much to do, with the level of stress and overwhelm it’s hard to keep up and have time for anything that matters to you.

Step 3 - You can’t sleep- lack of sleep is extremely dangerous to your health. Your body and mind can’t function properly, making everything seem harder than it is. Stress can push you into very dangerous waters, especially if you’re lacking proper rest.

Step 4- You’re irritated and angry all the time because stress takes you from the ups and downs of all human emotions. For your optimal health, you need to experience all emotions, but the so called ‘negative’ emotions should be brief, should teach you something, and move on. If they stay for too long, it’s a sign you need to take care of your stress.

Step 5 -You’re lacking direction in your life because stress derailed your vision of where you want to go and what you want to accomplish in your life. Most of the time when you’re feeling stuck, it means you’re overwhelmed and the forest in front of you has no paths.

Sign6 - You’re going through tough times – as the scientist wants us to believe, you’ll go through at least three major disasters in your life. So, tough times are part of your life, either you accept it or not. But you know that grief is part of life, and it’s an important healing process you need to go through in order to get better. But stress can make you stay in the same place for too long.

Sign7 - You’re not motivated, which means stress took a central place in your life. It’s hard to find some motivation to do anything if all your energy is spent on stress. There are seasons when it comes to motivation, but the season of not having any, shouldn’t be your main season.

Stress can be, well, stressful. But don’t forget that at the core of all of it, is you. The better care you take of yourself, the better chances of recognising the signs that it’s time to do something about your stress.

Take the first step now and download 5 planning strategies to manage your time better so you can achieve more and feel in control of your day cheat sheet to help you to find this most precious resources you have!

Having problems with stress? Go on: to find out more about Anna Doktor Wellness Coaching and how I can help you to beat the overwhelm once and for all. Alternatively, send me an email at or call to have a chat to see how we can work together tel: 0498016440.

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