Signs of Stress

Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC

The Ways You Experience Stress

When you become stressed, you exhibit signs in the following ways:

  • Cognitively
  • Emotionally
  • Physically
  • Behaviorally

Cognitive Signs of Stress

As your stress levels rise, you may experience one or many of the following signs:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Poor decision-making
  • Impulsivity
  • Excessive worrying
  • Pessimistic
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to focus
  • Racing thoughts

Emotional Stress Signs

Your emotions can become out of control during stressful times. You may experience:

  • Depression
  • Sadness
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Anger
  • Feeling overwhelmed

Physical Symptoms

Stress can make you ill or just feel ill. You may have:

  • Stomach pains
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of libido
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Frequent colds or flu
  • Headache
  • Other aches and pains

How Stress Affects Behavior

Stress can make you act differently in the following ways:

  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sleep
  • Procrastinate
  • Use tobaccoo or drugs for relaxation
  • Isolation
  • Avoid responsibilities
  • Nail biting, pacing or other nervous habit

Understand Your Stress to Lower It

Everyone experiences stress differently. You may not have any cognitive or emotional effects from stress but you may suffer from many of the physical symptoms or behavioral ones. Understanding how you react to stress can help you identify when you've been stretched too thin and need to do stress relief exercises.

Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC
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Signs of Stress