Stress Management - Give Me The Symptoms Of Stress

While it is impossible to predict how stress will affect an individual there are some common symptoms that identify that someone is probably experiencing sudden or chronic stress.

Sudden stress is a one-off occurrence, like your car breaking down in rush hour traffic or having to give a speech. Some of the symptoms of sudden stress are

  • higher blood pressure - higher blood pressure cannot always be detected but bulging veins are an obvious sign of high blood pressure.
  • clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth.
  • clenching of fists and tightening of muscles in the arms.
  • shallow breathing.
  • headaches.
  • profuse sweating.

Chronic stress is regular and unrelieved sudden stress. A typical example of chronic stress would be meeting monthly mortgage or credit card payments knowing that you don't have the money to afford them. Meeting tight or unrealistic deadlines at work would also be another example of chronic and unremitting stress. By it's very nature, chronic stress is potentially harmful to a persons health unless treated or managed. Some of the common symptoms of chronic stress are

  • heart disease - an increased level of amino acid plasma homocysteine caused by stress is thought to increase the risk to heart disease.
  • Strokes - blood is thought to become thicker due to the changes in the biochemistry in the blood which lead to an increase in blood clots and strokes.
  • Catching colds, flu's and other ailments often and struggling to shift them - it is thought that stress affects the white blood cell count.
  • Stomach problems such as diarrhoea, constipation, cramping or bloating.
  • Sleeping disorders - the full gamut of sleeping disorders from insomnia to inability to stay in deep sleep.
  • Reduced brain functions - memory, concentration and learning functions are all thought to suffer when under chronic stress.
  • Sexual problems - for men, temporary impotence. For women a loss of sexual desire, intensified PMS or a shut down in menstruation.

Some or all of these symptoms could affect the individual. It is often hard to pinpoint stress as the direct cause of, say, catching a cold but by changing simple aspects of your lifestyle you may find common complaints and odd aches and pains diminish. Incorporating a regular exercise routine, for example, could improve your stress levels and health. The body is a remarkable system. If you can ensure that the components can run in harmony then the body will take care of itself.