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Stress Symptoms

How does stress manifest in you? 

By understanding the symptoms, you can better recognise and manage stress, take proactive steps, and live a healthier and more balanced life.

Stress Symptoms


Exact stress symptoms experienced can vary from person to person. We experience stress in different ways.

Common stress symptoms include:

Common physical stress symptoms:

  • Headaches: Tension headaches or migraines, which may range from mild discomfort to severe pain.
  • Muscle tension: Muscle tightness, resulting in tension in the neck, shoulders, back, and jaw.
  • Digestive issues: Gastrointestinal system - stomach aches, indigestion, nausea, or changes in appetite, some of us don't eat, others can't stop (comfort food)
  • Fatigue: Chronic stress can leave you feeling tired, both physically and mentally.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or restless sleep.
  • Weakened immune system: Makes you more susceptible to illnesses and infections.
  • Increased heart rate: Stress activates the body's "fight-or-flight" response, which can result in an elevated heart rate.

Common emotional and behavioural stress symptoms:

  • Anxiety: Feeling anxious, nervous, or experiencing a sense of impending doom. Read more on anxiety here.
  • Irritability: More prone to irritability, mood swings, or a short temper.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Can impair your ability to focus, concentrate, or make decisions effectively, impacting work and family life.
  • Emotional changes: Can lead to emotional ups and downs, including feelings of sadness, frustration, or being overwhelmed.
  • Changes in eating patterns: May cause changes in appetite, leading to overeating and weight gain, or loss of appetite and weight loss.
  • Social withdrawal: Can result in isolating yourself from social interactions and withdrawing from activities you once enjoyed. Easy to get into a cycle making it harder to get back in.
  • Substance use: Some individuals may turn to alcohol, tobacco, or other substances as a coping mechanism for managing stress. Not a great idea.

Common cognitive stress symptoms:

  • Memory problems: Can affect your ability to recall information, or lead to difficulties with short-term memory.
  • Poor judgment: Can cloud your judgment, making it harder to make rational decisions, again impacting work and family life.
  • Racing thoughts: Can result in a racing mind, with thoughts bouncing from one concern to another.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Can make it challenging to concentrate on tasks or maintain focus for extended periods.
  • Negative thinking: Often contributes to negative thought patterns, including self-doubt, pessimism, or excessive worry.

Recognise and cope!

Identifying the core symptoms of stress is the first step toward effectively managing it. It is essential for maintaining your overall health and well-being.

Remember, you are not alone, and there are strategies available to help you manage and overcome stress.

Disclaimer: The information provided by Old Bull Health in this article is for informational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice. Our content is not intended to be medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and thus reliance should not be placed on it. If you are experiencing symptoms, please consult a healthcare professional.


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