Most Common Signs of Stress
When we perceive threat, our bodies release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which boost our energy levels and increase our heart rates. While useful, these hormones can be destructive over time. Studies suggest we can drastically improve our health by minimizing stress. To do so, however, we first need to recognize the symptoms.
Is Stress Taking Over Your Life?
When they’re constantly under stress, many people exhibit telltale signs, including:
- Moodiness, frustration, agitation
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Seeking control
- Difficulty relaxing or quieting the mind
- Low self-esteem
- Avoiding social situations
- Low energy
- Nausea, constipation, diarrhea and upset stomach
- Tense muscles and general achiness
- Rapid heartbeat or chest pains
- Frequent colds
- Loss of sexual desire
- Sexual dysfunction
- Dry mouth
- Teeth grinding
- Panic attacks
Unfortunately, these symptoms are just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to the destructive effects related to stress.
Beneath the Surface
Over time, stress can seriously impact our health. In fact, studies have linked stress to heart disease, depression, obesity, dementia and even cancer. It’s not clear why this is so; however, it’s probably owed to insomnia, increased inflammation and impaired immune systems, which seem to stem from too much cortisol and other stress hormones.
There are a variety of proven ways to reduce the impact of stress on the body, including meditation, yoga, acupuncture, exercise and journaling. You can also improve your ability to cope with stress by getting between seven to nine hours of sleep every night.