Are you under a lot of stress? If you also have some of the worrisome symptoms listed below, chances are that you’re badly in need of relief. Meanwhile, you may feel too guilty to take a break. Don’t be. They’d have to do without you if you were to get sick, wouldn’t they? You do not have to get sick first before you have the right to take a break.

Still, since there’s nothing quite so convincing as physical warning signs, here are seven key ways in which your body tells you to give it a break. How many do you have?

1. Do you find that your mouth is dry or do you have a lump in your throat? It may be a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason: when you’re stressed, your mouth becomes really dry. And a dry mouth makes it difficult to swallow anything but liquids. It’s even bad for your teeth.

2. Is there something in your life that’s a pain in the neck? Tense, tight muscles, especially neck and shoulder muscles are another important symptom of stress. To some of us it may seem like those painfully tense muscles are normal. They’re not.

3. Do you get a lot of headaches? While headaches can have a variety of causes, there’s one particular type that’s aptly named “tension headache.” If the onset of your headaches correlates with periods of intense stress, you know what to do.

4. Numbness & tingling in limbs. You may not have realized that these can be caused by too much stress. I didn’t know either until I read it during my research for this article, but it makes sense. In fact, I was relieved to read that because my arms have been tingling and occasionally getting numb for a while and I was worried that it might be something serious. Well, guess what! Stress IS serious.

5. Are you tired all the time? Do you find you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning? Chronic fatigue, exhaustion, and low energy are the inevitable result of excess stress for prolonged periods of time.

6. Do you have trouble falling asleep or sleeping long enough? Once again, this could be a sign of too much stress. And since sleep is so crucial for recovery, stress-induced insomnia often starts a vicious cycle.

7. Are you overweight? Especially with fat primarily accumulating on the belly? For the longest time, people used to think that stress causes weight loss, not weight gain. That may be true for some, but most of us tend to put on the pounds. Cortisol, the stress hormone, literally causes the body to accumulate the wobbly stuff right up front and center and makes it almost impossible to take it back off.

How many of the above do you have? One? Slow down and take more breaks. Three? You’re definitely in the danger zone. All seven? Red zone alert!

Author's Bio: 

And if you recognize yourself in this article and wonder what to do about it, you are invited to get your FREE ebook with seven mood-boosting and stress-reducing strategies. Or maybe you want the full-sized version instead, with lots more strategies.

Last, but not least, please visit her eclectic self-help blog for more resources for body, mind, spirit, and prosperity.