Am I Stressed? Mental and Physical Symptoms of Stress Disorders

Did you know that stress is one of the main killers of people today? Stress not only can mentally affect the individuals that are dealing with it, but there are some very clear physical components of stress as well that can lead to heart attacks, strokes and many more debilitating conditions.

Too much stress can definitely take away from the quality of life, as well as shortening the life span of the person dealing with it all on their shoulders. But what are the symptoms of stress? How can we recognize them and make sure that we take stock of it before it all hits the fan?

Symptoms of mental stress

Usually stress will begin by mainly affecting our mental capabilities, our views of the world around us and will usually take a negative spin on whatever is in front of us.

Here are some of the main components of mental stress factors. If you are experiencing three or more of these, it’s very likely that you have a high level of stress going on in your life and it’s a good idea to step back and do a re-assessment of what you’re dealing with.

  • Inability to concentrate and memory loss or problems in remembering simple things
  • Poor and misguided judgment and reactions
  • Putting a negative spin on just about every situation put in front of you
  • Feeling irritable and temperamental
  • Extreme change of moods and severe mood swings
  • Lack of patience, exhibiting anger unnecessarily
  • Feeling alone and isolated, even with friends and family around
  • An inability to feel relaxed or calm. Constant racing thoughts of anxiety
  • An overall feeling of unhappiness and exhibiting depression
  • Lack of appetite, or extreme increase in appetite, leading to over and under eating
  • Not enough, or too much sleep
  • Finding yourself overindulging in alcohol or using drugs or cigarettes in order to feel relaxed

When you’re feeling overloaded and “stressed out”, your cognitive abilities and reactions to things and situations will not be normal. If you’re a parent you’ll find that the children, homework, cooking, school etc feel like 10x (or more) the amount of work and effort as usual. The job will bear down on you and make you feel like you can’t cope. You may find yourself in tears frequently, trying to figure out why you’re feeling this way and how to get out of the funk you’re feeling.

Physical symptoms of stress

Eventually and inevitably, you’ll find that the stress factors that are going on in your mind and around you will affect you physically. There’s no getting around it. Our brain is set up to have our body react to situations around us, specifically tense ones. Some of the main factors of how our bodies react to stress are as follows:

  • Constant aches and pains all around your body. Some of the most recognizable will be neck and back pains and frequent “stress” or “tension” headaches.
  • Changes in bowel movements which will include extreme levels or constipation or frequent diarrhea or constant stomach upsets.
  • A drop in your immune system and ability to fight of basic colds and viruses.
  • Rapid heartbeat and frequent chest pains. Panic attacks and a feeling like doors are closing around you.
  • A severe drop in your sex drive
  • Dizziness and nausea- these will usually go hand in hand with chest pains and/or headaches

If you’re reading this article and find that you are nodding your head in assent with many of the emotional and physical associations of stress, it’s highly likely that you are dealing with levels of stress that are getting out of control, if they aren’t already.

You’re going to have to slow it down and find some ways of not only accepting, but dealing with your stress levels to ensure that you can bounce back from it. We live in a society where we are frequently surrounded by stress.

Unfortunately, in this economy and age, it’s probably going to get worse before it begins to get better. However, understanding what you’re dealing with is the first step in getting better and coping.