Woman working at computer holding her head looking stressed

Physical and Mental Effects of Stress

Signs and Symptoms of Stress

Stress — a feeling no one is a stranger to and no one can avoid. Stress is a natural reaction to changes and challenges that occur in our daily life. Sometimes, stress can sneak up on us unexpectedly. Stressful situations can be anticipated at other times, such as meeting an important deadline or preparing for a scheduled exam.

When your body produces a physical or emotional reaction to a specific event, that is the bodily response to stress. Symptoms of stress can present themselves both physically and emotionally. While stress cannot be avoided, it can be managed healthily.

Here are some common signs to pay attention to that may be your body’s response to stress:

Physical Signs of Stress

Stress hormones are the same hormones as those that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. You may notice your heart rate start to increase, your breath begins to quicken, and your muscles suddenly tense. This is your body’s physical response to stress.

While some symptoms may be more commonly recognized, there are various other signs that indicate you may be under extreme stress. Some of these signs include:

  • Headaches.
  • Heartburn.
  • Stomach aches.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Insomnia.
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Challenges with fertility.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to reassess the stress you are currently facing and how to manage those feelings with healthy coping mechanisms. Seeking medical attention from a healthcare provider and participating in therapy is highly recommended to maintain your overall well-being.

Emotional Signs of Stress

When your body responds to stress, the symptoms are not always physical. Often, stress can feel impossible to handle and put a strain on our mental state. If you experience any emotional signs of stress, it may be an indication to reduce some of the stressful factors in your life to allow yourself to live happier and healthier.

Some of the emotional signs of stress include:

  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Irritability.
  • Memory and concentration problems.
  • Low libido.
  • Compulsive behavior.
  • Mood swings.

Coping with Stress

Stress is a common trigger for people in recovery and often can cause relapse. That is why finding the tools that work best for you to reduce your stress is a crucial step.

There are numerous tools and techniques to help you manage your stress levels to maintain a healthy life. Exercise, mindfulness meditation, yoga, and even stress-reducing apps for your phone have all shown positive results in managing high levels of stress.

At Cedar Oaks Wellness Center, our programs are designed to meet each individual’s specific needs. This includes identifying triggers and teaching techniques to help you make healthy decisions.

If you are struggling with addiction and are experiencing extreme amounts of stress, contact us online or call (513) 780-5201 to receive the care you need.

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