Signs of Stress
A Checklist

A stressed professional woman

You've heard before that the signs of stress can indicate when you are experiencing too much tension and emotional distress in your life.  Identifying these signs is your first step in stress management, but what does that mean? In this fast-paced lifestyle, you may not notice how much you are trying to accomplish in a short amount of time.  These signs are messengers telling you that your body and mind are becoming overloaded.  Short-term and long-term stress affect our physical and mental health differently.  Here are some warning signs that stress could be taking their toll and affecting your body and mind.

Notice the Warning Signs

Review these signs to consider whether or not your levels of stress are getting too high for you to handle comfortably. One dangerous aspect of stress is that it can increase over time without you giving it much thought.  You become accustomed to it being ever-present.  You learn to live with it until it starts to overwhelm you and produce negative consequences.

Stress affects your physical body, emotions and your mental health in many ways, and everyone experiences stress differently. The following table contains the more common warning signs that stress is getting too high. The more signs you notice in yourself, the more likely that you are experiencing stress overload.

Cognitive Signs
• Memory problems
• Inability to concentrate
• Poor judgment
• Pessimism
• Anxiety
• Constant worrying

Emotional Signs
• Moodiness
• Irritability
• Fidgeting
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Feeling lonely
• Depression

Physical Signs
• Body aches and pains
• Diarrhea or constipation
• Nausea or dizziness
• Chest pain, racing heart
• Loss of sex drive
• Frequent colds

Behavioral Signs
• Over or under eating
• Over or under sleeping
• Neglecting responsibilities
• Misuse of alcohol or drugs
• Nervous nail biting, teeth grinding or pacing

A reference book that should be on everyone's bookshelf is called Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, Third Edition. The acclaimed guide to stress, stress-related diseases, and coping is written in an understandable format for the nonscientific reader.

You should also consider that the signs of stress can signal the effects of other psychological and medical problems. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs of stress, consult with a doctor for a full evaluation. Your doctor can help you determine whether or not your symptoms are stress-related.

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, Third Edition

Daily Life Stressors that Affect Women

Ignoring Signs of Stress Can Deepen Consequences

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