We are all hit by a bout of stress from time to time. Some more than others. It’s a fact of life. Part of understanding how to deal with stress when it does hit us is to have an overview of the four main symptoms of anxiety and what they are – psychological, emotional, physical, and behavioral. So, let’s dive in and take a look.
There are various psychological symptoms of stress. These often include not being able to concentrate because you are distracted. This can go further by causing you to be forgetful or being so stressed it affects your ability to make rational decisions and choices. Generally, you will feel down and depressed as the stress weighs on your mind. That, in turn, affects your mood, which can lead to deeper psychological issues as your mood become worse, and your mind races faster and faster, seeking a way out of whatever is stressing you.
We mentioned the mood above. Mood swings are psychological symptoms of stress. You will likely feel irritable and tense as your mood becomes worse. You may even be angry and overwhelmed as you struggle to cope. It’s not the right place to be in as your emotions get out of control due to whatever is stressing you. The higher the stress, the greater the effect on your feelings. It is essential to recognize the emotional symptoms of anxiety at an early stage to understand what is causing you to stress and take stock on how to tackle it.
Stress has physical symptoms too. For example, a loss of appetite leading to weight loss and other associated issues such as a lowered immune system leading to more susceptibility to illness. Stress can also cause our natural bodily rhythms to go haywire. For example, our bowel movements can become more or less regular. You may also experience chest pains due to increased heartbeat and even vomiting from that familiar feeling of a pit in your stomach. When the stress event has passed, your body usually adapts and returns to normal. We all no doubt have some experience of the physical symptoms of stress as we know our bodies and how they react to different situations.
Another symptom of stress is behavioral. There’s some cross-over here from the psychological and physical symptoms. For example, we’ve already mentioned appetite loss. The ability to sleep soundly is one behavioral symptom of stress. Our minds are not at rest. When we go to bed, our thoughts are racing so much with what is bothering us that we cannot sleep. Tossing and turning to try and find comfort and rest to come – but it will not.
Depending on how the stress is affecting you, another behavioral symptom is that you may withdraw from social contact and prefer your own a company as you try to deal with the situation.
Here we have taken a brief look at the four main symptoms of stress and their typical characteristics. You can probably recognize all of them and how they affect you when you feel stressed.
The critical step to take is affirmative action to seek to reduce and control whatever is stressing you.
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