Usual symptoms of stress

Stress is described as tension felt when faced with a scenario that is unpleasant or threatening. Even though some stress is normal, too much can affect physical and mental health. It is important to note that stress is an underlying factor in various chronic health conditions such as migraine headaches, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. While each individual reacts to stress in a different way, there are some symptoms reported.

Difficulty sleeping

Stress is considered as the main cause of short-term sleeping issues. In case issues such as insomnia are not properly managed, it can persist long after the original stress has passed.

If an individual has difficulty sleeping at night, it is recommended to avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. Always ensure that any exercise or workout routine is done at a minimum of three hours prior bed time and establish a regular, comforting bedtime routine are other techniques to deal with the sleeplessness.


Most cases of headaches are not indicative of major health issues and often an indication of stress.

Muscle tension

Many individuals develop neck or back pain once they are under pressure. Even though the reason for this is unknown, it is believed by some experts that it might be due to the limited flow of blood to the affected areas. The best way to relieve the muscle tension is to perform stretching exercises or practice deep breathing for relaxation.


Most cases of headaches are not indicative of major health issues and often an indication of stress. The stress hormones can change the level of certain chemicals in the brain which can contribute to the occurrence of headaches. Grinding the teeth or tensing of the muscles as a response to stressful scenarios can worsen the pain.

If the individual regularly experiences migraine headaches, stress might be a trigger for these attacks. On the other hand, if the individual experiences a headache that is severe or abrupt or does not respond to over-the-counter pain medications, a doctor should be consulted.


An individual who frequently loses his/her temper or venting out emotions by raising the voice can be warning indications that he/she is experiencing significant stress. When an individual is more irritable than usual, he/she should create a list of possible stressors in life and attempt to deal with them.

Difficulty with concentrating

If the individual feels overwhelmed with tasks or engrossed with worry regarding family or financial issues, he/she might end up with difficulty concentrating on work or school. It is recommended to talk with family, friends or a healthcare provider to deal with this issue. Even though the individual might not come up with solutions for his/her issues, talking can make him/her feel better.

Stomach aches

Pain or tightness in the stomach can indicate stress. Since the colon is partly controlled by the nervous system, stress can oftentimes cause colon spasms that lead to abdominal pain. Meditation, breathing exercises and yoga can help the individual relax his/her body and often relieve this type of pain.


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