We all get stressed from time to time; it’s a natural reaction to certain aspects of life, and it helps to keep us safe and alert. The problem comes when your stress levels don’t dip back down again. Living with chronic stress is bad for your health as it causes raised blood pressure (which increases the chances of having a stroke as well as developing heart problems), and it can also affect you mentally. So although a little stress is actually good for us, too much is extremely bad. What are the symptoms of stress and why are they problematic? It’s important to know because once you do, you can do something about it.
Quick To Anger
If you’re feeling stressed (and, more specifically, if you are suffering from chronic stress), you will be extremely quick to anger and you will become agitated over situation, which if you didn’t have the stress hanging over you, wouldn’t bother you, or at least wouldn’t be such an issue. You’ll find that you become irritated or irate about the smallest things, and that will have a knock-on effect on your family, friends, and co-workers too. They will bear the brunt of your stress and anger, and will either become angry in return, or you’ll make them upset. Either way, you run the risk of losing them if the behavior goes on for too long.
After the initial anger, you may also start to feel guilty for having yelled or over-reacted, which will make you feel more stressed, and so the cycle continues.
Another symptom of stress is the feeling that you are completely overwhelmed by everything that is happening in your life, and you can’t seem to get out from under the suffocating list of things to do. You will find it hard to focus, and you will feel as though you are living someone else’s life, just watching from the sidelines. This feeling can lead to a complete break down where you are unable to manage anything. Alternatively, it might go the other way, and you could try to control everything and everyone in your path in an effort to solve the issue. Neither of these options is healthy for you or the people around you.
Unable To Relax
For those feeling a little stressed or anxious, it’s easy to relax and unwind, and they will immediately start to feel better. They might choose to sit and read a book, watch some TV, go for a walk or do some exercise, or practice a hobby, for example. For those suffering from chronic stress, this is just not possible. They will be unable to focus on what it is they are doing, and their minds will be forever going over the things that are concerning them. This inability to relax will cause problems with sleep, which means that body has no chance to heal itself (both physically and mentally) during the night, and the stress can never go away, plus other illnesses and conditions such as type II diabetes and high blood pressure can occur.
If you find that you are suffering from constant headaches, you may be chronically stressed as well. For some, these headaches become so regular that they are just accepted as normality, and nothing is done to ease them or find a solution. It is a dangerous position to be in since pain in any form if your body’s way of telling you there is something wrong, and it should never be ignored.
Hair loss when stressed can happen to both men and women. If you find that no matter what you do, your hair is always falling out when you brush it, wash it, or even just moving about during the day, you might be suffering from stress. There are a number of reasons why this might be happening. One reason is that your body will be producing more adrenalin than usual when you are stressed, and too much of this hormone causes hair loss. Stress also increases the amount of cholesterol collecting in your body, and this, in turn, leads to excess testosterone, which is another hormone that can cause hair loss. Hair loss can cause problems with self-esteem, and this causes even more stress, so if this is happening to you, it would be worth considering light therapy for hair loss.
Aches And Pains
Sometimes you may find that you hurt for no reason. Your limbs and joints might be stiff, or you might go to pick something up, or stand up, or even walk up the stairs and find that you ache. Although you may think there is no reason for this pain, it could be your stress levels causing the problem. If you ever have a pain that you can’t find a cause for, consider that you might be suffering from stress and see a medical professional when you can.
Stress can also bring with it plenty of stomach related issues. The digestive system is extremely sensitive and can have big problems functioning properly when someone is stressed. You might have one or a combination of different symptoms including frequent stomach aches, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. You might also lose your appetite altogether, and that means your body will eventually go into a shock, making all your symptoms a lot worse.
Stress manifests in many different ways, and for men that can be erectile dysfunction or complete impotence. There are ways to cure these problems, but the underlying stress must be dealt with before anything else can be. The problem (amongst many) is that when a man has erectile dysfunction, they can feel worthless and their self-esteem can drop dramatically, and this leads to even more stress.
For both men and women, a loss of libido is a big sign that they are stressed as well.
Other Physical Symptoms
As well as all of the above, there are other physical symptoms associated with stress. These include ringing in the ears, a dry mouth (and perhaps difficulty swallowing), excess sweating, particularly in the hands and feet, a permanently clenched jaw, frequent colds and bugs, and shaking.