What Are the Symptoms of Stress?

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Everybody gets stressed. But what matters most is how you deal with stress. If you want to prevent a possible stress overload and avoid the health consequences that can come with it, one thing you can do is to know your stress symptoms.

Stress has the capability to affect every aspect of your life if you let it. It can affect your thinking ability, behaviors, emotions, and physical health. No part of the body is immune to the effects of stress. However, because different people handle stress in different ways, symptoms of stress can vary.

Categories of Stress Symptoms

There are four main categories of stress symptoms, namely:

Emotional Stress Symptoms

One way to check your stress levels is your mood. Humans normally switch through different moods throughout an average day – depending on how it plays out. The most common ones are happy, sad, and angry moods. These moods are recognized as what an individual feels or thinks of a particular situation.

So, supposing Person A gets a promotion at work, he’d obviously be happy and this can be shown by his burst of excitement and smiles. But if that same day, he receives news of the death of his relative, his demeanor will change to weeping profusely. Thus indicating a sorrowful/mournful mood.

Therefore, we can see that mood swings can be termed as “normal”. However, there are particular instances which can be clear indicators of stress.

  • If you find yourself becoming easily agitated, frustrated, or moody, you just might be stressed out.
  • Or if you occasionally start feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control, this could also be a “stressed out” symptom.
  • If you are someone who is having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind, have you ever considered that it could be due to stress?
  • Or maybe you frequently feel bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless or depressed, ย it could be as a result of stress.
  • If you find yourself constantly avoiding others (often with no valid reason), you, my friend, are stressed out.

Physical Symptoms of Stress

Possible physical stress symptoms include:

  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach (including diarrhea, nausea, and constipation
  • Pains, aches, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Nervousness and shaking
  • ringing in the ear
  • cold or sweaty hands and feet
  • Dry mouth and having difficulty swallowing
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth

Cognitive Stress Symptoms

Cognition refers toย the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

So basically, the symptoms in this category are related to your way of thinking.

  • Someone who is constantly worrying may be stressed out.
  • If you often have unsettled/racing thoughts, that could be a “stressed out” symptom.
  • Forgetfulness and disorganization qualify as stress symptoms. This instances could occur when you have so much to do and forget not to deviate from the course of your current goal. In other words, you try to do so many things at one go and tend to be disorganized. Another possibility could be due to your inability to say “NO” when you know you have too much on your plate already.
  • An individual with the inability to focus can be classified as “stressed out”.
  • Poor judgment as a result of overthinking.
  • A stressed out person can be found being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side.

Behavioral Symptoms of Stress

  • Changes in appetite – When you start either not eating or eating too much, you may be experiencing some sort of stress.
  • Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
  • A person exhibiting more nervous behaviors (e.g. nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing) may be showing signs of stress.


Many of these symptoms of stress can also be signs/indicators of other health problems. This is because symptoms can be vague at times and may be the same as those induced by medical conditions.

So, if you or a loved one are feeling overwhelmed and may have noticed these symptoms,ย it is important to discuss them with your doctor first.

Your doctor can then evaluate your symptoms and rule out other possible conditions. If the symptoms finally point toward stress, he/she can recommend a christian minister, a therapist or counselor who can help you better handle your stress.

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  1. The era that we live in is one where there is help availableโ€‹ for nearly every difficulty possible, but it’s really rare to find help in stressful situations. This is what blogs like this play such an important role.
    Well written Janie!

  2. This is a useful resource listing potential symptoms. I think it was absolutely right of you to add a disclaimer about consulting a Doctor as you rightly point out symptons can mean multiple things. I have occassionally had insomnia as a symptom, though never thought it was stress – possibly it was, possibly I just needed my brain to process more things. ANother one that was happening recently, but has faded is an eyelid twitch. It is quite annoying but seems to have gone again, I am happy to say
    John recently posted…Itโ€™s more than just gaming: Gaming Leads to Other MediaMy Profile

    1. Thank you, John. I’m happy to hear that the eyelid twitch has faded. When I was reading around this, and I initially saw these symptoms, I realized there were other medical conditions they could also be symptoms for. Therefore, I thought it best to put a disclaimer up.

      P.S. I know I’ve missed many chapters of the Mycroft Journals but please bear with me. I’ll catch up soon. Have a great day. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€
      Jane Love recently posted…Stressors – Possible Causes Of StressMy Profile

    1. Ha ha ha. It’s good to know very talented doctors such as them. Yep, they’d fix them up in no time! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you, Sunshine.

      P.S. I think Rainforest’s first patient would be himself. Exams haven’t done him well. ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜›

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