What are some early signs of stress?

Early signs of stress can be both physical and emotional. Each individual has a different reaction to stress so there are many different, sometimes opposite experiences that can be described. Symptoms include but are not limited to sleep disturbances, heart palpitations, muscle aches or tension, appetite changes, fatigue, changes in energy level, or even worsening of existing health issues. Emotionally one may become more easily frustrated or on edge and one might have a more difficult time completing tasks.
If you are experiencing a lot of stress in your life, you may notice physical side effects or changes in your behavior. Discussing your symptoms with a member of your healthcare team can help determine whether or not these physical or behavioral signs are stress-related.

Some physical signs of stress are:
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite or eating too much
  • Body aches and pains
  • Pounding heart
  • Grinding teeth
  • Stomach or bowel problems
  • Tense muscles
  • Fatigue

Some ways that stress can affect behavior:
  • Misuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Nightmares
  • Worrying
  • Becoming forgetful
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sexual problems

Stress can take on many different forms, and can contribute to symptoms of illness. Common symptoms include headache, sleep disorders, difficulty concentrating, short-temper, upset stomach, job dissatisfaction, low morale, depression, and anxiety.
This answer is based on the source infromation from the National Women's Health Information Center

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.