Top Ten Signs and Symptoms of Stress
Of course, everyone will suffer some level of stress from time to time - and it can be helpful if you know why and also to be aware of some of the symptoms of stress which might not always be obvious.
In fact, there are said to be several secret symptoms of stress, indicators that can point you in the right direction to control their negative impact.
Look out for these signs of stress
1. Bleeding gums - harmful mouth bacteria can be the result of your immune system being suppressed by high levels of cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone. This is one of those secret symptoms.
2. Putting off important decisions - another sign of stress is the presence of procrastination in your life. If this is a problem for you, make the decision to do the hardest task first. When you avoid your responsibilities, this can lead to a greater sense of feeling stuck.
3. Waking up with a sore jaw - when we are stressed, our brain sends messages to our muscles to tell them to tense up. This is to help guard against possible injuries and pain. So, if you wake up with a clenched jaw or you feel more sensitive than normal, this could be yet another secret sign of stress.
5. Acid reflux - When you are suffering from too much stress, this can lead to an increased amount of acid in your stomach. If you already have a gastro-oesophageal reflux condition, then it can become more of a problem when you are under stress.
6. Controlling your surroundings - Not such an obvious sign of stress but definitely one to take note of. If you find that you have an increased urge to control your environment by being compelled to clean more thoroughly and more frequently than usual. Another sign is becoming irritated if things become misplaced in your home. According to stress experts, when other elements of our lives become too chaotic and stressful, we turn to those that we feel we can control.
7. Insomnia - There are so many reasons why we have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep but of course stress is one of these. Insomnia could be an indicator of stress if our sleep patterns have changed because of different things impacting our lives.
8. Abdominal pain - When we suffer from stress, the amount of blood flowing to our gut can be reduced, making it harder to digest our food which can lead to abdominal pain, bloating and constipation.
9. The appearance of oily skin - As in the first secret symptom of stress above, high levels of cortisol can affect us including making our skin's glands produce more natural oil. This excess oil can clog our pores and lead to skin problems such as breakouts and acne. Unfortunately, the appearance of such skin conditions can add to our stress.
10. Sudden weight gain - Stress could be the reason for unexpectedly gaining weight in spite of eating well and exercising regularly. If your body is in fight or flight mode, those cortisol levels will increase, giving your bloodstream a higher sugar content - and lead to weight gain.
Some suggestions to sort out that stress
- Petting a purring cat will help to calm your nerves and relieve stress and anxiety. Studies have found that owning a cat can be associated with reduced stress in day-to-day life. Just the act of interacting with and petting a purring cat helps their owners calm down and keep their stress levels manageable.
- Exercise when you feel symptoms of stress coming on. Even a short walk can boost your mood.
- At the end of each day, take a moment to think about what you’ve accomplished - don't stress about what you didn’t get done.
- You might find it helpful to set goals for your day, week and month. Narrowing your view will help you feel more in control of the moment and long-term tasks.
- Take the time to relax every day. You can choose from a variety of techniques, such as deep breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation. In addition, many online and smartphone apps provide guidance on these techniques.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that, because we live in a modern world, we automatically feel stressed some or all of the time. We may not even be aware of the levels of our stress.
It is time to stop feeling that tension rising through your body with shoulders hunched up and possibly a headache on its way.
Secondary headaches. American Headache Society Committee for Headache Education. http://www.achenet.org/resources/secondary_headaches/. (Accessed,July 13, 2021)