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Symptoms of Stress: What to Look For

By learning the symptoms of stress and its causes, you can start to implement strategies to relax on your own. You might start to notice the symptoms described below when, for example, you face a difficult situation at work or have trouble communicating with a loved one.

Recognizing Stress

Symptoms of StressAbout Stress Symptoms

“Stress” is the body’s reaction to a seemingly harmful situation. The symptoms can vary from person to person as everyone handles stress differently. Stress can affect physical health, emotions, thinking processes, and behaviors. You may experience one or a combination of symptoms.

Physical Stress Symptoms

The most common physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Insomnia
  • Lack of energy
  • Nausea and other types of upset stomach
  • Colds and infections often
  • Grinding teeth and clenched jaw
  • Headaches
  • Problems swallowing and dry mouth
  • Chest pain and fast heartbeat

Emotional Stress Symptoms

When you are stressed, emotional symptoms include:

  • Feelings of being overwhelmed
  • A mind that won’t quiet
  • Seeking to be alone
  • Moodiness

Cognitive Stress Symptoms

Your thought processes may be impeded by stress, showing up as:

  • Trouble focusing
  • Bad judgement
  • Forgetting often
  • Worrying frequently
  • Being negative in thought

Behavioral Stress Symptoms

You may exhibit these behaviors:

  • Drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or smoking cigarettes more often
  • Procrastination
  • Appetite changes (overeating or undereating)

Dealing with Stress

While stress is a normal part of life, it can rise to a level that is difficult to handle. To minimize health consequences that come with long-term stress, including mental health problems like depression and anxiety, as well as skin problems like acne, your best course of action is to talk to your doctor.

Also, some stress symptoms can be signs of an underlying health disorder, so your doctor is trained to diagnose you properly. If the cause is stress, then the doctor can recommend a therapist or counselor to help you get your stress better under control.

Symptoms of Stress Videos


50 common signs and symptoms of stress

Stress and your health

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