Stress: Signs, Symptoms, and Causes

Author: Shiela Lupiba Shiela Lupiba
Category: Mental Health

What is Stress?

Stress is how we act when we feel threatened or under a lot of pressure. Most of the time, it happens when we feel like we can’t handle or control a situation.

Everyone goes through periods of stress since it is an inevitable and natural aspect of the human experience. In point of fact, the human body is designed to be sensitive to and reactive to stress. Both your body and mind will react in unique ways as you go through transitions or are confronted with challenges (stressors). This is a form of anxiety.

The ways in which your body reacts to stress are what enable it adapt to new circumstances. It can be beneficial to our well-being because it keeps us vigilant, driven, and ready to flee from potential threats. For instance, if you have a significant test coming up, your body may benefit from a stress reaction by working harder and staying awake for a longer period of time. However, it can become problematic when the factors that contribute to it continue to occur without any periods of relaxation or break.

Signs and Symptoms

The condition is associated with a long list of physical and mental symptoms.

This article will look at some common signs and symptoms of stress.

Acute Stress

It’s possible that you could feel stressed for a few moments here and there. In most cases, there is absolutely no need for alarm. For example, when you have a project that you need to send in, or when you have to give a speech in front of a group of people. Perhaps you have the sensation of “butterflies” in your stomach, and you find that the palms of your hands start to sweat.

These types of positive stressors only last for a limited period of time and are your body’s way of assisting you through what has the potential to be a challenging circumstances.

Chronic Stress

chronic stress

If you allow your stress to go unchecked for an excessively long period of time, it can have negative impacts on your physical, mental, and emotional health, particularly if it becomes chronic. It is essential for you to be able to recognize the symptoms of chronic stress in order to effectively manage it.

Some examples of the impacts of prolonged stress on the body are as follows:

  • Headache- It causes headaches and head/neck pain. In 45% of persistent headache sufferers, stress preceded symptoms . A study linked stress to headaches. According to a study of 150 military members, stress is the second most common headache trigger. Sleeplessness, alcohol, and dehydration create headaches. Insomnia, alcohol, and dehydration also cause headaches.

  • Pain or tightness in the muscles – A typical ailment that can emerge from higher levels of stress are aches and pains in various parts of the body. According to the findings of a number of research, chronic pain may be linked to elevated levels of stress as well as elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

  • Sexual urge changes – When under emotional strain, a lot of people find that their desire to have sexual encounters shifts. According to the findings of a few pieces of research, higher levels of stress are linked to lower levels of sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction.
  • Hypertension – High amounts of it can also manifest physically in the form of a racing heartbeat and an elevated heart rate. Multiple studies have shown that excessive amounts of stress can cause an individual’s heartbeat or heart rate to increase significantly. In addition, situations or activities that are stressful may cause an increase in heart rate.

The following are examples of the emotional impacts of persistent stress:

  • Having the impression that you are unable to complete tasks
  • Moodiness \sAnxiety \sRestlessness
  • Insufficient drive or motivation
  • Irritability
  • Sadness or depression


Everyone experiences stress in their own unique way. Your best friend might not even be bothered by the things that stress you out, and vice versa. However, numerous factors that contribute to stress can have a harmful effect, including the following:

  • Being bullied
  • Putting in excessive effort
  • Losing a job
  • Problems in marriage or other types of relationships
  • Recent break up or divorce
  • The passing of a family member
  • Difficulties at school Issues with one’s family
  • Busy schedule
  • Recent relocation

However, our bodies always react in the same way to stressful stimuli. This is due to the fact that the reaction is the means through which your body deals with trying or demanding circumstances. It has an effect on the neural system as well as the respiratory, cardiovascular, and nervous systems. For instance, it can cause your heart rate to speed up, cause you to breathe quickly, cause you to sweat, and cause you to stiffen up. Additionally, it may provide you with a surge of energy.

This phenomenon is referred to as the “fight-or-flight reaction” in the body. Because your body believes it is under attack, it goes through this chemical reaction in order to get ready for the physical response that will follow. Our human predecessors in the wild relied on their ability to thrive under this kind of pressure.


There are several daily ways to reduce stress:

  • Meditation, yoga, tai chi, breathing techniques, and muscle relaxation can help. Online, via applications, and at gyms and community centers are programs.
  • Take care of yourself daily. Good nutrition, exercise, and sleep help your body handle stress.
  • Be cheerful and grateful for the wonderful in your day or life.
  • You can’t control everything. Don’t fret over things you can’t change.
  • Learn to say “no” when you’re too busy or worried.
  • Connect with individuals who make you happy, calm you down, and offer emotional and practical assistance. A friend, family member, or neighbor can help by listening or sharing tasks.


It is natural and quite normal to experience tension from time to time. However, prolonged exposure to stress can result in a variety of medical symptoms, mental symptoms, and unhealthy behavioral patterns. Make an effort to alleviate and manage your stress by employing a few basic tactics. But if you find that you can’t cope, you should talk to your doctor.


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