The Effects of Stress

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. It is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. While stress is generally looked at negatively, it can also be a response to good experiences. When someone feels stressed by something, their bodies react by releasing chemicals into the blood.


Everyone experiences stress - it is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Stress can be triggered by anything from everyday responsibilities to significant life events. When dealing with immediate or short-term situations, stress can actually be beneficial to your health. Stress can also help you deal with potentially dangerous situations by increasing your heart and breathing rates, allowing your muscles to be ready to respond if necessary. The issues with stress comes in when it becomes chronic, meaning you are feeling the effects of stress for a prolonged period of time and feel you have little or no control.

There are many emotional and physical disorders that are linked to stress, including: depression, anxiety, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, immune system disturbances that increase susceptibility to infections, a host of viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold and herpes to AIDS and certain cancers, as well as autoimmune diseases. In fact, it’s hard to think of any disease in which stress cannot play an aggravating role or any part of the body that is not affected.

Some common signs and symptoms of chronic stress include:

1. Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain

2. Gritting, grinding teeth

3. Stuttering or stammering

4. Tremors, trembling of lips, hands

5. Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms

6. Light headedness, faintness, dizziness

7. Ringing, buzzing or popping sounds

8. Frequent sweating

9. Cold or sweaty hands, feet

10. Dry mouth, problems swallowing

11. Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores

12. Rashes, itching, hives, goose bumps

13. Unexplained or frequent allergy attacks

14. Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea

15. Excess belching, flatulence

16. Constipation, diarrhea

17. Difficulty breathing, frequent sighing

18. Sudden attacks of life threatening panic

19. Chest pain, palpitations, rapid pulse

20. Frequent urination

21. Diminished sexual desire or performance

22. Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness

23. Increased anger, frustration, hostility

24. Depression, frequent mood swings

25. Increased or decreased appetite

26. Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams

27. Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts

28. Trouble learning new information

29. Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion

30. Difficulty in making decisions

31. Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed

32. Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts

33. Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness

34. Little interest in appearance, punctuality

35. Nervous habits, fidgeting, feet tapping

36. Increased frustration, irritability, edginess

37. Overreaction to petty annoyances

38. Increased number of minor accidents

39. Obsessive or compulsive behavior

40. Reduced work efficiency or productivity

41. Lies or excuses to cover up poor work

42. Rapid or mumbled speech

43. Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness

44. Problems in communication, sharing

45. Social withdrawal and isolation

46. Constant tiredness, weakness, fatigue

47. Frequent use of over-the-counter drugs

48. Weight gain or loss without diet

49. Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use

50. Excessive gambling or impulse buying

If you are living with the above symptoms, maybe it is time to work with a talk therapist who is experienced in reducing stress! Click here to get paired with a therapist today.