Symptoms of Stress
Are You Paying Attention to these Warning Signs?
When you are going through long periods of stress, symptoms of stress begin to pop up. Your body and mind are giving you warning signs that something needs to be changed.
Because stress affects us on all levels of our being, these warning signs can be divided into four categories:
Physical Symptoms of Stress
While each person handles stress differently, the physiology of stress is similar for all of us once we reach our individual stress threshold.
As soon as your brain interprets a situation as threatening, your fight-or-flight reaction (the stress response) kicks in.
Hormones are released and the sympathetic nervous system takes control of your body. Breathing rate increases, blood pressure rises, perspiration increases, and digestion slows down. Your body gets ready for action.
If this stress response becomes chronic, as it often happens in today's fast paced world, the body may respond with some of the following physical symptoms of stress:
Mental (cognitive) Symptoms
It is not just your body that suffers from too much stress. Body and mind work together. Whatever affects one, affects the other as well.
As the energy of the body during stress response is directed towards basic survival needs, the cognitive (mental) functioning is more disorganized and inefficient. Some of the symptoms of this disorganization are:
Emotional Symptoms of Stress
Because mind, body, and emotions are connected, stress can have a profound effect on your emotional well-being. The effects of stress on your emotions range from depression to angry outbursts. Under too much stress even patient and tolerant people can blow up. People who are generally optimistic and happy can become bitter and cynical under too much stress.
Some of the signs that stress is affecting your emotions are:
Behavioral Symptoms of Stress
Yes, even your behavior is affected by too much stress in your life. Your existing habits are exaggerated during stressful periods of time. For example, if you tend to overeat, you will find that in times of stress you will be overeating that much more. Or, if you are more of an introverted nature, you may find yourself totally isolating during periods of stress.
Some of the behavioral symptoms of stress are:
If you are experiencing any symptoms, have them checked out by your doctor.
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