Experts at Mayo Clinic note that stress affects your body and behavior, including the way you think and feel. Recognizing the common symptoms of stress can be of great help when it comes to dealing with these problems. If not checked on time, stress can cause serious health problems, such as hypertension, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Stress response is your body’s physical and psychological reaction to everything that happens to you. There’s nothing wrong about it. small doses of stress are actually good for you as it promotes effort and pushes you to do something. It’s normal and helpful.
But, if stress converts into something that affects your everyday life, it will hurt your mental and physical well-being.
Your brain has an alarm system that protects you from threats and dangers. When this system detects a threat, the body releases hormones to help you cope with it. This is what experts call the “fight-or-flight response.”
Once the threat is gone, the brain goes back to its normal state. But, constant exposure to stress affects your body’s ability to go back to its natural state.
Most brain functions are individualistic, and so is the alarm system. In other words, your body interprets the signals from this system in a different way. Psychosomatic symptoms are the symptoms with no physical cause, and they are really common. A study published in The American Journal of Medicine showed that 84% of all patients had symptoms in which experts couldn’t determine a physical cause. This means that the pain these patients had was of psychological nature.
Individuals with overactive stress response may end up dealing with chronic disease. That’s why you should learn how to recognize the precautionary signs of overstress in order to prevent and avoid long-term issues.
11 signs of overactive stress response
- Headache and migraine
Stress causes tension that later translates into a headache. Tension headaches are the most common type of stress-related headaches. It’s accompanied with the following symptoms:
– Dull and persistent pain (migraine-like pain)
– Constant pressure in the head
– Tenderness of the scalp, neck and shoulder muscles
- Chest pain
The pain in your chest may occur as a result of stress. Chest pain caused by stress and anxiety is sharp and intermittent.
It’s caused by the tension and tightening of your muscles.
- Hair loss
There is a tight connection between stress and hair loss. Scientists have confirmed this link.
Telogen effluvium describes the scattered thinning of hair along the scalp. Stats show that it’s the most common type of hair loss caused by stress. Don’t worry, it’s temporary. However, chronic stress will lead to recurrence of this issue.
- Loss of libido
You can’t have a fulfilling sex drive without hormonal stability and a healthy state of mind. Stress causes hormonal imbalances and kills mood which leads to low sex drive.
- Concentration issues
Stress is a trigger for the fight-or-flight response. In this case, the body is flooded with stress hormones like cortisol. Overactive amygdala affects your brain’s energy reserves and the normal activity of the frontal lobe, also known as the area responsible for attention and concentration.
- Memory issues
The stress response affects the normal activity inside the temporal lobe responsible for your memory. Chronic stress affects short-term memory, making you unable to recall things.
- Stomach issues
Stress-related anxiety may give you stomach cramping, stomach pain and intestinal discomfort. Stress has visible affect on the abdomen as it exhausts the abdominal muscles, leading to pain.
- Weight fluctuations
Stress will cause your weight to go up and down. However, chronic stress usually causes weight gain. Acute stress patterns are often related to gaining weight. Cortisol has a huge effect on your hunger. High cortisol levels lead to high insulin levels, and your blood sugar goes down, making you crave for sweet and fatty foods.
- Heart palpitations
These may be frightening, but are usually harmless. Stress, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine work as catalysts of palpitations. Sometimes you can feel these in your chest, neck or even your throat.
- Joint and muscle pain
Stress-related hyperstimulation is manifested through ache, tension, tightness and stiffness. If the body is constantly exposed to stress, you are likely to deal with muscle and joint pain more often.
- Inexplicable physical and mental symptoms
Stress is super complicated and may lead to a huge number of disorders and diseases. We can’t really tell the exact number of all the conditions caused by stress, but it goes really high.
There’s a huge possibility that your symptoms are caused by stress. Consult a medical professional to address your problem and find the right solution.
Efficient techniques of stress management
Medical intervention is sometimes helpful, but reducing stress naturally is of great importance for your overall health.
Here are some techniques you should try:
- Light exercise (walking, jogging, yoga)
- Meditation and breathing exercises
- Quality time with friends and family (talk to someone you trust)
- Do fun and relaxing activities (read, listen to music, play games)
- Get enough sleep