One of the dangers of excess stress is that it frequently takes place gradually for months and even years.
Stress slowly increases until the sufferer experiences a serious wakeup call such as a mental breakdown or health crisis.
Many in the middle of ongoing stress figure that’s just how adults with a myriad of responsibilities are supposed to feel.
True, some measure of stress is normal and even healthy. Ironically, not feeling enough tension, stress, and challenge can be stressful, too.
But what about when stress levels are too high for too long?
Are you overly stressed? Here are some common signs and symptoms.
Physical Characteristics of Stress
Stress presents itself in a wide variety of ways. Most symptoms fall into one of two categories: physical or emotional signs.
Here are common physical signs of stress:
- Stomach problems, including nausea, constipation and diarrhea
- Increased sweating
- Trouble swallowing and a dry mouth
- Loss of the ability or desire for sex
- Increased illness episodes such as infections and colds
- Trouble sleeping/insomnia
- Body pains, aches and tense muscles
- Rapid heartbeat and possible chest pain
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Ringing ears, involuntary shaking and nervousness
- A clenched jaw
- Cold hands and feet/sweaty hands and feet
- Grinding teeth
It’s important to take these symptoms seriously, especially if you’ve had them for a while now.
They may be the result of stress or another underlying health condition. Stress is more serious than just an inconvenience.
(See our earlier article entitled “Stress is Really a Killer)
Emotional Signs and Symptoms of Stress
While sufferers of stress usually experience physical symptoms, emotional symptoms are also common.
What signs are typical? Here are a few:
- The desire to isolate from others
- Trouble calming/quieting your mind
- Difficulty relaxing your body
- Feelings of loneliness, worthlessness and low self esteem
- Easily angered and moody
- Feelings of being overwhelmed
While the symptoms mentioned above are not an exhaustive list, they should give you some insight into whether you currently experience unhealthy stress levels.
Too many sufferers don’t take stress seriously. High levels of ongoing stress require swift action.
A skilled therapist can help you decide if your stress levels are excessive. If you are too stressed, your therapist can also help you develop a plan to decrease your stress levels as quickly as possible.
Life is too short to live stressed out. There is help for you.
You can experience a much higher quality of life than that! If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 393-8662, or text us.