Symptoms of Stress

Even though we don’t often realize it, stress affects our health in ways that are detrimental and frustrating. Stress has a way of masking itself through sleeplessness and chronic headaches. Stress zaps us of energy and strength that it affects our productivity. Stress is sneaky because it not only contributes to the deterioration of our health, but also is the culprit for the mood and behavioral changes in us. Like a thief in the night that can catch one unawares at any given time, so can stress jump out at you for a variety of reasons, when unexpected.

The problem and danger of this is that a person who experiences stress often enough has pretty much “learned” to adapt their physiology to the stress they undergo during trigger events that it begins to seem the norm. When this stage is where a person operates from, stress begins to take a toll on the individual’s health.

For many, since they are not aware of the amount of energy our bodies spend to handle stress, start displaying signs and symptoms of overload. For one, people under unrelenting, extended stress, may employ poor judgment, when once they did not. They have a harder time concentrating on things that need their attention and this can be coupled with constantly entertaining worrying thoughts. A person who under stress can feel panicked with negativity, sometimes gripping them with the inability to do anything (part of the fight, flight or freeze response people go through when under distress. And because they are consumed by anxiety, a person under stress can begin showing signs of memory problems. A person experiencing stress experiences physical and mental effects like:

  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Restlessness
  • Stomach upset
  • Lack of focus or motivation
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Feelings that overwhelm
  • Change in sex drive
  • Anger and irritability
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Depression and sadness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Smoking
  • Little physical activity or exercise
  • Undereating
  • Overeating
  • Abuse of alcohol
  • Abuse of drugs
  • Social withdrawal

The problem with stress is that it silently creeps up on us, and catches us unaware. The manner our physical bodies respond to the demands of any given situation that one may find stressful is the danger of not recognizing the origin of the ailment. Chronic stress tilts the axis of the body’s equilibrium and affects not only our physical health but our mental stability as well.

Stress can bring about the onset of autoimmune diseases – diseases where your own body attacks its own self. Some examples of autoimmune diseases are type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Sjogren’s syndrome, psoriasis, scleroderma, Cushing’s disease, alopecia, Addison’s disease, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBD), Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn’s disease just to name a few. In fact there are between 80 to 100 autoimmune diseases that can affect people.

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