Many of us are super stressed these days. Because of this, stress has become so common and often a regular part of our lives that we don’t always realize when we’re are suffering from excessive amounts of stress. If that sounds like you, have no fear! This post is going to tackle some of the most common mental and physical signs of stress that you should be aware of.
According to the American Institute of Stress, there are approximately 50 signs and symptoms of stress, 50! That’s a lot to keep track of!
But knowing some of the most common physical and mental signs of stress will help you to manage your stress before your stress manages you. It’s all about making time.
Stress Does A Body Bad
The way your body feels can tell you a lot about your stress levels even if you don’t have physical ailments or conditions. It might be telling you that you are too stressed out which is something that needs to be addressed ASAP. Most people realize that having lots of muscle tension could be related to dealing with a stressful situation.
However, stress is smart. There are several sighs of stress that are more subtle. For example, if you notice that you’re not sleeping well, you have way more or less of an appetite than you normally do, or you’ve been losing or gaining weight, those can be physical signs of stress.
You may also have skin changes like adult acne, intestinal problems, irregular menstrual cycles, or sexual dysfunction.
All These Feelings Are Stressing Me Out
Your emotional state is also very closely related to your level of stress at any given time and is often what you might notice first when you’re wondering if you’re too stressed out. The range of emotions can vary, however, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and as if you don’t have control over your life, or you might have extremely low self-esteem and depression.
If you find that your emotions are too much to deal with and you can’t emotionally handle other people’s requests of you, you find it difficult to quiet your mind’s racing thoughts, or you keep getting agitated with others, it very well might be a sign that you have a heightened stress level.
Why Am I Acting Like I’m Stressed? Because I Am!
Changes in your behavior should also be paid close attention to. As a matter of fact, others often notice changes in our behavior before we do. If you’re using outside substances to cover up the negative emotions or those feelings of being overwhelmed mental state, such as smoking cigarettes, drinking more heavily or experimenting with drugs.
Other behavioral changes include: lashing out at others (esp. unprovoked), becoming angry (in particular at things that normally wouldn’t bother you), or procrastinating a lot.
You may also be fidgeting or biting your nails, which are behaviors often associated with being stressed out.
My Mind Is Playing Tricks On Me!
Cognitive signs of stress have to do with your mental state. They’re sometimes confused with emotional symptoms but can be related to them.
For example, if you suddenly notice that your judgmental abilities have and are making bad decisions at work or in your personal life, that might be related to your cognitive function. You could have racing thoughts, constant worry and anxiety, or difficulty focusing on tasks. That’s related to stress. So is poor memory and things such as sudden disorganization.
If you find yourself thinking or feeling strange or different, consider talking to your doctor about what’s going on.
Let’s talk, what do you do to keep track of your stress? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In