Sometimes, people overlook the symptoms of stress and carry on like all is well.
They could have some signs for a day or two, but they often beat the body to shape with some pain killers and; ‘life goes on’.
Most hit in this issue are people who live in highly populated cities. They face more stressors than people in less populated locations.
Sleeping late and waking up too early could be a stressor. Noise and other conditions that you give less attention to are also masking stressors.
Everyday we are all exposed to one stressor or another.
Sometimes, you hardly see the symptoms of stress because your body is built to handle small amount of stress.
For instancing, when a glass falls off your hand and you do your best to stop it from braking – using your leg to reduce gravity and absorb the shock. This could stress you out, but you may not even know.
While these stressors may seem harmless, gradually they have a major influence upon mood. They shatter a person’s sense of well-being, behavior and, eventually, health when they go out of hand.
For young persons, they may have acute stress, yet are able to adapt to it without any health burden.
But if the threat is ignored, particularly in older or unhealthy individuals, it could damage the individual’s health.
This is why it is important that you know some signs of stress to adjust lifestyle or get help early.
What Is Stress?
Stress is any intrinsic or extrinsic stimulus that evokes a biological response. It is your body’s reaction to harmful and unfriendly situations.
There are different things that could cause stress, but what causes stress for one may not cause stress for another.
A study highlights that based on the type, timing and severity of the applied stimulus, stress can exert various actions on the body.
It could alter hormones and could be life-threatening or even lead to death.
“In many cases, the pathophysiological complications of disease arise from stress and the subjects exposed to stress, e.g. those that work or live in stressful environments, have a higher likelihood of many disorders. (1)”
This concern seen in the 2017 study is why we are writing this article.
What Are The Symptoms Of Stress?
From studies, the symptoms of stress could either be emotional, cognitive, physical or behavioural in nature.
However, people react differently to stressors and as a result may have different symptoms.
Some physical symptoms of stress are headaches, low energy level, stomach upset – constipation, feeling of vomiting and diarrhea, aches, pains, and tense muscles, rapid heartbeat, chest pain and sleep disorder.
Others are loss of memory, frequent colds and infections, loss of sexual desire, poor sexual ability, nervousness and shaking and ringing in the ear.
If you also have sweaty hands and feet, cold, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, clenched jaw and grinding teeth, they could be as a result of stress.
Headache or migraine is the commonest sign of stress that people have. And yes, a study says chronic migraine is a critical factor for perceived stress (2).
Another study says there is an association between stress intensity and headache frequency (3).
Therefore, if you often have headache, chances are that it is a symptom of stress. See a doctor for proper diagnosis, as headache could also be a symptom of other underlying conditions.
Stress can also present emotional symptoms and you should watch out for them to seek help when they are reoccurring.
Some emotional symptoms of stress could be agitation or mood swing. It could make you feel frustrated and even overwhelmed.
This often comes with a feeling that you are losing control of you mind. In such situation, you find your self making efforts to take control.
Also, you could feel frustrated or even have difficulty relaxing or quieting your mind. You lie on the bed and you try to sleep, but your mind cannot just stay calm. It races through different issues of concern.
When you just feel bad about yourself, as a result of some circumstances, you are stressed.
Another symptom of stress to watch out for is that feeling of low self-esteem, loneliness, worthlessness, or depression.
We have seen cases where people attempted suicide as a result of depression. Stress could be the major cause of such depressive state of mind.
Furthermore, a study linked depressive feelings with stress (4).
When you are stressed, you could even begin to avoid the company of other persons. You just want to be alone.
These are all emotional signs that you are facing some stressors that you have to kick out.
Cognitive Symptoms Of Stress
Sincerely, stress affects every part of our body especially when it becomes overwhelming.
The brain is not left out in this matter. In fact it is one organ that is mostly affected.
Stress can make you experience, constant worrying, become forgetful, have racing thoughts, be disorganised and unable to focus.
It can also lead to poor judgement and a negative mindset all the time.
Check Our Our Earlier Article On Stress Management: Simple Techniques That Work
Talking about how stress impacts the brain, a study says stress has many effects on the human nervous system and can cause structural changes in different parts of the brain (5)
Basically, when your desire for junk foods increases, it might be a symptom of stress. The multiplier effect is weight gain.
Other symptoms are avoidance of responsibilities and procrastination This happens when you feel like you don’t have mental or physical energy to do the task.
Sometimes, people facing stressors take to alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. When you notice a desire to take alcohol building inside you, it could as a result of stress.
Also, when you find that you just bite your nails, fidget or pace when there are unforeseen circumstances, watch out for stress.
Basically, the persistence of these symptoms without necessary attention could result in immunity-related issues, heart disease, intestinal complications, hormonal imbalance and loss of memory.
Based on these concerns, it is important that you see a doctor for proper diagnosis when you have any of the above symptoms of stress.
If you find this article helpful, kindly share with your friends and loved ones to help them know the symptoms of stress they should watch out for.