9 Signs That Indicate You’re Under Too Much Stress

9 Signs That Indicate You’re Under Too Much Stress

Pamela Bandelaria |Mar 19, 2021

What Are the Physical Symptoms of Stress?

Every person has experienced different forms of stress in their lives. Is it normal to feel stressed? Can we prevent it or make it go away? This article will explain what it is, the different types, causes, and physical symptoms of stress. We also look at how we can identify and manage it, and when to see a doctor.

What is Stress?

Stress is an emotional or mental reaction of the body, characterized as tension or apprehension coming from changes or circumstances. It is a normal reaction, and usually occurs when a person is pushed beyond their limits.

According to the American Psychological Association, around 75% of Americans experience physical or emotional stress. On one hand, stress can be a good motivator for a person to be more productive and get things done. However, it can also be overwhelming when not controlled, affecting your daily life and interfering with daily activities.

What Causes Stress?

There is usually a triggering factor for stress. It can be mild, such as a slight change in schedule, routine, or lifestyle. An example of this is travel, pregnancy, childbirth, or a fight.

Other times, circumstances that are unfavorable or challenging cause stress. These include problems relating to work, money, family, relationships, or health. Examples of this include financial problems, debt, loss of a job, marriage, or illness.

It is important to note that although stress is associated with negative events, not all causes of stress are bad. Sometimes it also comes from good events such as being pregnant and having a baby, or getting a promotion and having more responsibility at work.

Different Types of Stress

There are different types of stress, each of which has its presentation and triggers. The American Psychological Association identifies different types of stress based on the time it occurs. Stress is classified as acute (short-term), acute episodic stress, or chronic (long-term).

Acute and Chronic

Acute stress is a type of stress that lasts for a limited period because of certain changes in the environment. It is usually incidental and disappears after the trigger is removed. Episodic acute stress is characterized as acute stress that occurs more frequently or regularly. These episodes are usually more intense than acute stress. Chronic stress is a type of stress that is lasting and can be present for years or decades.


Stress can also be classified by type. Physical stress is a type of stress that affects the body. Examples of triggers of physical stress are travel, changes in temperature or environment, and changes such as pregnancy, childbirth, menstruation, or menopause. Traveling can cause physical stress by changing your sleeping and waking hours. Changes in the environment can affect your sleep and wakefulness and also affects your body.


A type of stress similar to physical stress is traumatic stress. Traumatic stress is when there is an insult or injury to the body which can lead to physical changes and complications, such as pain, changes in sensorium, or even death. An example of traumatic stress is when a person gets in an accident, gets sick, or undergoes an operation.


Another type of stress is emotional stress, which affects the feelings of a person. Triggers of emotional stress include death or losing a loved one, a divorce or breakup, or a fight with a loved one or family member. People with emotional stress may experience symptoms of depression and physical changes, such as weight loss and sleep problems.

Symptoms of Stress

Stressed individuals experience various symptoms. It will display differently in each individual, but there are some common symptoms to look for. These include:

  • Feeling fatigued or tired
  • Digestive issues, such as an upset stomach, stomach ache, or nausea
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Chest pan
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Difficultly sleeping
  • Decreased libido
  • Feeling restless or lethargic

How to Identify Stress

Sometimes it may be difficult for adults to identify their stress. It can be hard for children and teenagers, too, especially if they do not know what stress is.

How will a person know that they are already experiencing stress? It usually becomes apparent through certain behavioral cues.

Aside from the physical symptoms, people who have stress experience changes in behavior. These include being moody or easily irritated. They may complain and not enjoy activities that they used to. Their sleeping and eating habits are unusual enough to be noticed by people around them.

Socially, they may isolate themselves, have angry outbursts, and become hostile towards family members or friends.

While there are many physical symptoms of stress, it can show itself in other ways, too.

Stress Management Tips

Stress can occur at different points in every person’s life, so it is important to know how to manage it. First, you need to identify the triggers so you can mentally prepare and anticipate ways to control the stress.

Implement a Positive Outlook

Having a good mindset and positive outlook is a good start to keep stress at bay. To build resilience, it can be helpful to practice meditation techniques and breathing exercises. This centers the body and refocuses the mind, providing clarity. Having calming or soothing activities can also help manage stress.
This can be different for every person. Examples include listening to music, taking a warm bath, or practicing breathing exercises. Focusing on a hobby or interest can also help.

Maintain a Health Diet

Having a balanced diet will also help manage stress. It will help provide energy, and the nutrients from healthy meals can lead to a strong mind and body.

Exercise will also help in reducing stress. It releases hormones that boost happiness and improve a person’s mood. According to the American Psychological Association, almost half of Americans walk or exercise to manage stress.

Do What You Enjoy

Having activities for fun and leisure is also helpful for stress. It is important to rest and take a break once in a while. This is also good to help reset your mind and recharge your body.

Being with a good support group can alleviate stress as well. Connecting with people not only boosts your mood, but also allows people to learn from each other.

Seeing a Doctor

Seeing a doctor for stress is helpful if the person is already feeling overwhelmed, and stress is being experienced persistently or for a long time.

Professional help may also be needed when non-medical techniques to relieve the stress mentioned above do not work. A trained professional is important for giving emotional support, as well as providing guided stress management strategies with expected outcomes.

Stress does not simply go away. It’s important to know when stress should be evaluated by a doctor for treatment and management. This way, stress is less likely to affect a person’s physical and mental health and become destructive to their life.

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