Common Signs and Symptoms of Stress

Stress symptoms occur in all areas of our life.

Mental symptoms of stress can include:

    forgetfulness

    confusion

    difficulty concentrating

    habitual worrying

Worry is especially nasty because it is like borrowing stress from future events that might not even happen! If you are a worrier, ask yourself how many times what you have imagined has actually happened like you thought it would. Very rarely, right? So why waste all that energy worrying about future stuff when you could be applying it to present stuff?

Worry is what keeps most people from sleeping well, too. Something wakes them up in the middle of the night and then the mental worry machine kicks on and thoughts go whirring around and around for hours. Very exhausting!

Emotional signs of too much stress can be things like:

    feeling frequently short-tempered or angry

    feeling like there’s “never enough time”

    feeling frustrated

    feeling depressed

    feeling overwhelmed

    feeling anxious



Anxiety is one way sure-fire way for our body to get our attention!

Sometimes anxiety can become so intense, it can lead to full-blown panic attacks which can feel a lot like a heart attack! Pretty darn scary, right? It's just not fair that anxiety creates more anxiety, but there you go!

Physically, stress shows up in a lot of ways. Who has never had a stress headache? Anyone? Okay, anyone over the age of three?

Headaches are certainly one of the most common symptoms of stress, but our bodies will often also carry muscle tension that can become muscle spasms, back aches, sciatica, and jaw pain, to name a few.

We can develop irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure; or digestive problems like acid reflux or irritable bowel syndrome. Stress can also lead to changes in appetite that result in weight loss or gain.

And this is far from a comprehensive list.

Research has shown that chronic stress actually impairs our immune system and may cause conditions like asthma, arthritis, and fibromyalgia to become worse. And it has been implicated as a contributing factor in heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and even to the development of cancer.

Bottom line:

A little stress can be a good thing, but too much stress is dangerous.




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A Better Day Counseling Services & Paula Sharp, LCSW

Serving Boise, Eagle, Meridian and Treasure Valley, Idaho

Located at: 1414 W. Franklin St., Boise, ID 83702

(208) 344-4343

In the Heart of Boise, for Good!

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