Physical Signs & Symptoms of Stress

Updated July 18, 2017

In today's fast-paced world, many people suffer from stress at one point or another in their lives. Stress can cause a variety of mental and physical symptoms. The body's fight or flight response causes many physical symptoms and when a person suffers from prolonged high-stress levels the results can turn into major health problems.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms that may occur from stress include headaches, chest pain, excessive fatigue, insomnia, stomach upset and a change in sex drive, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms may also include dry mouth, racing heart rate, cold hands and/or feet and excessive sweating. If you develop chest pains along with shortness of breath and dizziness, you should seek emergency help to ensure you don't have more serious health problems going on.

Psychological Symptoms

Mental symptoms commonly associated with stress may include restlessness, irritability, depression, nervous behaviours such as twitching, nail biting, pacing and repetitive habits, anxiety, lack of concentration and loss of enjoyment of favourite activities. These symptoms may occur due to either short-term or long-term stress, according to Mountain State Centers for Independent Living.

Behavioural Symptoms

Stress can also trigger a variety of behavioural symptoms as well as physical and mental symptoms. These may include overeating, undereating, alcohol or drug abuse, social withdrawal, poor judgment and neglecting things that were once important.

Stress Relievers

If you're exhibiting many of these stress-related symptoms, you may want to try adding a few new activities into your daily routine. Adding physical activity can help to release endorphins in your body, making you feel happier and more energetic. This can be something as simple as going for a walk, or a short workout during the day. Yoga, t'ai chition can also help decrease stress levels through relaxation techniques. Using these techniques can give you the ability to manage your stress levels while reducing the negative side effects of stress.

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