Common Symptoms of Stress and How to Treat Them
Every individual deals with their own types of stressors, whether it be pressure from work, friendships, relationships, finances, or family. It’s important to understand the stresses you encounter and how they physically and mentally affect you each day.
Keeping tabs on your physical and mental health ensures you can take immediate action if stress begins to negatively affect you. While the stress warning signs may look different for everyone, discussed below are a few common physical and mental effects you should look out for when it comes to stress.
Blemishes on your skin may simply be caused by irritation from a new product or hormonal changes. However, new acne breakouts may be an indicator that you’re stressed out. Acne breakouts may occur when you’re stressed due to an increase in the production of sebum.
Scientists conducted a study on stress, acne, and sebum production and concluded that “psychological stress may exacerbate acne.” However, it wasn’t concluded whether increased sebum production was directly related to this acne.
While the reason you might break out when you’re stressed still hasn’t been discovered, it’s a warning sign that it’s time to address your daily routine. If you’re dealing with bouts of acne and you suspect it’s related to stress, take the steps necessary to reduce the stressors you encounter.
Keep your face clean and well-moisturized and consider visiting a dermatologist if your acne won’t go away, you’re experiencing cystic breakouts, or your condition only continues to worsen.
Body Aches and Pains
If you’re dealing with consistent body aches and pains, it may be related to your current stress. Some of the most common ways your body reacts to stress include:
- Stiff muscles.
- An upset stomach.
These ailments may signal that your body is fighting off a cold or virus but they may also be warning signs that your mental stress is negatively impacting your physical health.
Evaluate your daily stressors and create a plan of action to reduce the stress you deal with. To minimize your muscle soreness and stiffness, consider chiropractic treatments. When you visit a chiropractor, they can help you alleviate the muscle tension that stress often causes, giving your body some much-needed relief.
Change In Appetite
If stress is affecting you, it may decrease your appetite significantly or cause you to overeat. Whether your stomach feels sick and you can’t eat or your new nervous habit is constantly eating unhealthy foods, this change in appetite can be detrimental to your health.
You may not be getting the nutrients you need if you’ve lost your appetite due to stress. If you continue to let stress lead you to unhealthy overeating habits, you’re likely to gain weight, which is also dangerous. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common consequences of being overweight or obese are cancers, musculoskeletal disorders, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
Besides attempting to reduce your stress, it may be beneficial to visit a chiropractor. Some chiropractors are qualified to provide professional nutritional advice to ensure you eat the right foods and portions your body needs to stay healthy.
Feeling constantly overwhelmed or stressed may also lead to depression. With depression, you’re likely to feel constantly tired, listless, anxious, or sad. A scientific study concluded that individuals dealing with sustained stress experienced changes in their stress hormone systems that are similar to those changes observed in individuals suffering from depression.
If you feel stress is contributing to depressive symptoms, try eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and cutting back on stressful activities and engagements. Seek professional help from a doctor and/or psychologist if your symptoms don’t go away.
Inability to Sleep
If your mind won’t stop reeling from the stresses of the day, you may find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Sleep is important for your physical health and over time, sleep deficiency can increase your risk for chronic diseases and affect how efficiently you work, function, think, or react.
To combat your inability to sleep, try to reduce the stress you’re currently dealing with. It’s also important to:
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even over the weekends.
- Reserve at least an hour before bedtime as your “quiet time” with no electronics.
- Eat healthily and exercise every day.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and reserved for only sleep.
- Avoid nicotine, caffeine, or other stimulants.
Lack of Energy
Since stress takes a toll on your physical health, it’s no wonder lack of energy is a common warning sign that you’re too stressed out. When you’re emotionally exhausted, likely, you’ll also feel physically exhausted too. This can make it hard to find the motivation to tackle household chores and work projects or to attend social events.
Address the stresses you think may be causing this lack of energy. Also, consider your sleep schedule, daily activity, and diet. When you get consistent sleep, exercise daily, and eat healthy foods, it’s easier to deal with stress and you’re also likely to feel more energetic.
Rapid Heart Beat
“Tachycardia is the medical term for a heart rate over 100 beats per minute,” according to the Mayo Clinic. There are many reasons you may experience a rapid heartbeat, such as medication side effects, anemia, or high blood pressure. However, a rapid heartbeat may also be a warning sign that you’re taking on too much stress.
If you continue to live with a rapid heartbeat without treatment, you may be susceptible to dizzy spells or blood clots. Reducing life’s stressors may help bring your heartbeat back to normal. You should also focus on healthy eating habits, daily exercise, and limiting caffeine and alcohol. See your doctor if your rapid heartbeat doesn’t subside.
The nerves that activate your sweat glands are affected by emotions and hormones. When you’re under stress, these glands may become overactive and cause you to perspire. Stress and sweat can be excessive, leading to a stained shirt, embarrassment, or discomfort.
Be sure you’re wearing deodorant or antiperspirant and bathe daily to keep the sweat at bay. If you notice yourself sweating while under stress, try to breathe deep and calm down. Having a quick, positive social interaction with a friend may also help to melt stress away.
When you understand the warning signs that you’re taking on too much stress, you can take the steps to stop stressing. By taking control of your stress, you’ll prevent these physical and mental ailments, allowing you to better enjoy life and stay healthy.