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Physical Symptoms of Stress

If you think stress only affects you mentally, read this article on physical symptoms of stress, and get your facts clear!
PsycholoGenie Staff
As perceived by many, stress is considered to be a mental state wherein certain factors, be it internal or external, affect you! But, does stress affect you on a mental level only? Think again! Stress is a "gift" of modern lifestyle, and if you are the part of the rat race that exists in today's world, you would have definitely experienced the physical symptoms of stress, but just not realized as to what they are! The reason why stress is so common in today's lifestyle is because everyone seems to be literally running to achieve more and more out of life. We want to earn more, work more, explore more, travel more, get more of what the world has to offer..., and these desires of having more of everything, has resulted in too much to do, in too little time! So, before we get on with the physical symptoms of stress in men and women, let us first have a look at the causes behind the same.
Causes of Stress
Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live. - Margaret Fuller
This is exactly what we all are doing today! I mean how are we living our lives these days? Working 2-3 jobs a day and accumulating job stress, not sleeping properly, working at home, meeting family needs (paying the bills)..., there is too much to do and in so little time! I am sure that most of us really wish if we could have more than 24 hours in a day, right? This is the most important cause of stress and anxiety! In accumulating what we require to live happily, we forget to actually live. Nevertheless, mentioned below are some points which highlight the main cause of stress in the society that we live in. Have a look!
  • Work Overload
  • Time pressures
  • Financial problems
  • Unrealistic targets
  • Family and relationship problems
  • Maintaining social status
  • Thinking too much
  • Negative attitude
  • Lack of sleep
  • Being too busy
  • Lack of physical activities
  • Lack of activities including hobbies and recreation
I am sure all of us could relate to the aforementioned points. I am sure you can figure out that all these causes are accepted as a "common" part of the "modern lifestyle"! This is the reason why I call stress as the "gift of modernization"! This was not the case earlier! There was more job safety, people were involved in independent businesses and didn't work under a boss. There used to be more physical activity, a healthier environment wherein when it came to recreation, people would prefer gardening and not watching a movie! There were extended families that shared each others problems, unlike now where the want of being independent has diminished the concept of joint families. More independence gives you more responsibility and the pressure to handle them all with no time for 'yourself' leads to stress and anxiety!
Stress resides neither in the situation nor in the person; it depends on a transaction between the two. - Dr. Richard Lazarus
Physical Signs of Stress
Sometimes a headache is all in your head. Relax. - Hartman Jule
Coming back to the topic, yes, stress is not a condition that is confined to your mental health only. The mind and body works hand in hand. So, if something is bothering your mind, it will bother your body as well. Since we have discussed the causes of stress, let us now have a look at the physical symptoms of stress in individuals, which will help you identify the 'need to relax' as mentioned in the quote above.
  • Constant headaches
  • Random aches and pains
  • Palpitations
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Increased hair loss
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Spasms and muscle cramps
  • Indigestion
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold and flu
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Stomach cramps
  • Excessive sweating
  • Appetite loss
  • Increase in appetite/Obesity
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Chest pain
  • Breathlessness
  • Dryness in the mouth
  • Migraine
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cold toes and fingers
  • Heartburn
  • Asthma attacks
  • Increase in eczema
  • Nervous twitches or tapping and shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep apnea
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it. - Harry Emerson Fosdick
Some people (although in rare scenarios) have also reported to experience some unusual symptoms like nosebleeds, vomiting, memory loss, and decrease in immunity levels. Therefore, one needs to take a lot of care when it comes to handling stress and anxiety in your day-to-day life! In order to do that, you can go through the stress free living tips to adapt yourself with the pressure and demands that you deal with. Stress is nothing but our body's way to cope up with the external pressures. Mind you, nature didn't design our bodies to deal with prolonged stress. It is our lifestyle that forces the body to adapt to something that it is not designed for, which results in the health issues mentioned above. To conclude, all I would like to say is that, health is more valuable than wealth. As quoted by Will Rogers in his Autobiography, 1949, "Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save." So make sure you don't rush through life, but live it! Take care. :)