Whether it’s a problem at home, work or relationship issues the end result is a rise in your stress levels.
But while some day-to-day stress is normal (and can even be a good thing if it motivates you), chronic, overwhelming stress can have a negative impact on your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
Knowing how to spot the signs and symptoms that you’re under too much stress can help you stay aware and address the issues before they harm your health.
You might be overly stressed without even knowing it. Maybe you have certain physical symptoms and blame it on an illness or other condition.
But the truth is, stress itself can cause problems in your organs, tissues, and just about every system in your body, including your hormones.
Depending on how you handle stress, you might have symptoms that affect everything from your digestion, your heart, and much more.
Some of the physical signs that your stress levels are too high include:
– Pain or tension in your head, chest, stomach, or muscles. Your muscles tend to tense up when you’re stressed, and over time this can cause headaches, migraines, or musculoskeletal problems.
– Digestive problems. These can include diarrhoea and constipation, or nausea and vomiting. Stress can affect how quickly food moves through your system and the way your intestines absorb nutrients.
– Reproductive issues. Stress can cause changes to your sex drive, problems with irregular or painful periods in women, or impotence and problems with sperm production in men. Whether you’re a man or a woman, you might also feel reduced sexual desire when you’re under too much stress.
– Changes to your heart rate and blood pressure. When you’re overwhelmed with stress, your body goes into “fight-or-flight” mode, which triggers your adrenal glands to release the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. These can make your heart beat faster and your blood pressure rise.
This usually happens when there’s a momentary stressor, and the effects pass once it’s over. For example, you might find your heart racing if you’re late for a meeting, but then it calms down once you’re there.
However, over time, too many episodes of this kind of acute stress can cause inflammation in your arteries, which could be a contributing factor to heart attacks.
Stress can have many causes, but fortunately it is something that you can start to make a difference to with some simple self help measures.
One of the first ways we often try to deal with stress is through comfort eating, but unfortunately that brings other issues as well so you may find the following articles helpful.
How to Stop Emotional Eating From Stress
WARNING: Stress can seriously damage your health.