Physical Symptoms of Stress
Are Important Warning Signs

Physical symptoms of stress can indicate a lot about your health.  Stress not only produces physical effects on the body but also can affect your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  Recognizing your stress symptoms and understanding how stress affects your health is a starting point to limiting dangerous effects of diseases  such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Common signs of stress include irritability, fatigue and lack of energy or motivation.  

These symptoms can cause a variety of negative effects on your thinking and your moods.  If your body is hurting physically, it may be difficult to concentrate, or you may find that your emotions are on edge.  Refer to the article on the physical effects of stress to learn more about how the body reacts to stress.  Notice if you have any of the following feelings or emotions that could be ways you are reacting to stress.

  • Restlessness
  • Lack of focus
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Worrying
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

The symptoms of stress can cause a variety of negative effects on your behavior.  If you are not feeling well, you may look for quick-fix ways to feel better.  These types of instant gratification can end up creating a vicious cycle because these forms of behavior may contribute to more physical health problems.

  • Overeating
  • Angry temper tantrums
  • Drub or alcohol abuse
  • Tobacco use
  • Social withdrawal

Consider the physical symptoms of stress to be warning signs—indication that you need to find ways to manage your stress so that it does not take its toll on your life.  If you are not certain if stress is causing these conditions, or if you have already taken steps to manage your stress but the symptoms continue, see your physician.  Your physician may want to check for other potential causes.

When Stress Becomes Extreme

What Are the Effects of Stress?

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