Symptoms of Stress

The symptoms of stress we experience each day are a normal part of living. Stress is the body's way of preparing to handle demanding situations. It is the stress we experience that pushes us to achieve those deadlines.

The symptoms of stress come in two forms, physical and psychological.

Physical Stressors:

  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Infections
  • Injuries
  • Work overload
  • Mental fatigue

    Psychological Stressors:

  • Thoughts of real or imagined dangers

  • Personal losses

  • Unpleasant social interactions (or lack of)

  • Anger/outbursts

  • Fear

  • Grief

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Guilt

    Regardless of the cause of the stress our bodies will constantly fight to maintain the status quo (homeostasis). The symptoms of stress and its intensity can be observed by a person's heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, perspiration of the hands, or irritability. This is called the stress response or the fight or flight response. The stress response is a normal bodily function but the problem arises when these symptoms remain turned on. The body reacts to the stress by releasing stress hormones. As long as the stressors remain, the stress hormones will be releaased and this prolongs the symptoms you experience. When you have difficulty letting go of the stress, you can develop many serious health conditions.

    Symptoms of Stress:

  • High blood pressure

  • Atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). Atherosclerosis can lead to heart attacks or even strokes.

  • Autoimmune diseases

  • Cancer

  • Gastrointestinal ulcers

  • Headaches

  • Muscle tension and chronic pain

  • Sleep related disorders and insomnia

  • Shortness of breath and chest pains

  • Decreased sex drive, decreased libido

  • Memory problems

  • Inability to Focus

  • Confusion

  • Feeling overwhelmed, tense, on edge.

  • Impatient, agitated, angry, intolerant of others

  • Skin sensitivity

  • Excessive drinking

  • Smoking

  • Substance abuse, drugs

  • Overeating or lack of appetite

  • Feeling sad

  • Infertility

    Life is more enjoyable when you can remove the effects of stress from it. But first you must identify the stressors and the causes and work to eliminate them from your life. Start by making a list to become aware of the specific stressors in your life. Maybe some of the stress you carry can be removed if your were more aware of what they are. If you need help with identifying and eliminating the unnecessary stress from your life, seek the help of someone that can help or feel free to contact me. It's impossible to get rid of all the stressors in your life all at once. The best way to approach it is by finding ways to offset the stress and bring more balance in your life.

    Strategies to Offset and Reduce the Effects of Stress

  • Regular cardiovascular activity (at least three times per week)

  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine

  • Get enough sleep

  • Consume well-balanced meals

  • Some good old-fashioned fun and laughter with friends can go a long way in relieving stress.

  • Learn to say no to other people's requests. Be more selective in your tasks.

  • Find fulfillment in your work/career.

  • Clean up your environment. Make it more organized. Add some natural plants and fresh flowers.

  • Associate with health conscious, well-balanced people.

  • Mend broken relationships with loved ones and friends.

  • Learn how to forgive.

  • Feed your spiritual need.

  • Reach out to those less fortunate. Do something nice for someone.

  • Learn some powerful relaxation techniques.

  • Work to alleviate or offset your symptoms of stress. Don't allow it to hold you back from attaining your goals.

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