Stressed?? What are the signs?

I had fun giving advice on signs of when you're too stressed planning a wedding, I thought the information was applicable to everyone (who isn't stressed??) so I'm sharing what I sent:

Stress is different for everyone; things that cause stress for one person may not cause it for another, and different people react and respond to stress differently. That said, the top most stressful experiences for most people are losing their jobs, birth of a child, buying a house, death, and marriage. These are all life-transition points. They’re points at which your life trajectory goes one way rather than another and your future is thus changed. In some of these events, the future is changed for you, but with marriage you’re choosing a course which can be even more stressful. Entering into a committed relationship stresses most people out because that commitment changes every aspect of one’s life.

Given that you’re already probably a little stressed out, it makes sense that being responsible for putting together an event that all your closest and dearest will attend (something that would stress most of us out in and of itself) would be a formula for becoming over-stressed. And stress is contagious, it spreads to everyone, including parents, bridal party, and everyone even tangentially involved (poor caterers and venue staff!). So give yourself a pass for feeling stress, it’s inherent to the event.

Signs that a Bride is too Stressed Out

1. Getting Sick

We forget that stress causes physical reactions. These include headaches, stomach aches, other aches and pains, low energy, reduced sex drive, grinding teeth, insomnia, chest pain, and nervousness. Stress reduces your ability to fight off things like colds and the flu as well. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. If it’s trying to tell you to calm down and chill out, maybe you should listen to it before it does it for you.

2. Intense Emotional Response

Negative emotions can be fueled by stress. Feeling moody or agitated can indicate stress. If you feel like you’re having PMS on steroids, it might be the stress. Feeling overwhelmed can lead to someone trying to take more control (hello, Bridezilla). Stress can cause you to feel bad about yourself, and no one wants to deal with body issues while shopping for a dress. If you find yourself feeling more emotional than usual, try a little gratitude and self-forgiveness. Remind yourself that even if everything goes wrong with the wedding planning you still wind up married to the person you love.

3. Cognitive Symptoms

Worrying and racing thoughts are common when you’re over-stressed. What’s more, stress can cause you to be more forgetful, disorganized, and pessimistic, none of which is helpful when planning a wedding. Stress can also lead to poor judgement, and that’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to decide everything from the font for the invitations to the band for the reception. Although it seems counterintuitive, stopping planning for a bit can make planning easier. Take some time to go to a yoga class or meditate. Indulge in whatever self-care will recenter you.

4. Behavioral Symptoms

When we start to fall back on our negative coping mechanisms, that’s a sign we’re over stressed. Eating too much or too little, changing our routines, smoking or drinking too much, and risky behavior are all negative coping skills, and they’re what we unconsciously reach for when we’re at the end of our rope. This is the time to enlist help. Hire a wedding planner, or find that friend who lives for organizing. Delegate responsibilities to your loved ones, even if it’s hard to let go of that control. You don’t want to restart a bad habit and then have to go through the work of changing that when you can be focused on being a happy newlywed!