Stress Signs That You Should Not Ignore

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girl is not able to work due to stress

Stress is probably the most common mental health issue these days. According to Gallup, almost 57% of Americans go through daily stress at their workplace. However, people have become so accustomed to being stressed in today’s demanding world that they don’t really notice until it takes a toll on their health. 

Clinically, stress is defined as our bodily response to threatening situations known as stressors. When we encounter a stressor, our mind releases stress hormones that increase the heartbeat and respiration rate to provide the body with the energy and oxygen needed to cope with stress. If a person frequently remains worried, the never-ending activation of the stress response can end up causing serious health issues. 


Worldwide, every one of three people usually suffers from chronic stress; however, they tend to ignore the signs. Nonetheless, a timely diagnosis of persistent stress can save you from life-threatening health issues. You just need to notice the little changes in your behavior.

Here is a list of six signs you should pay heed to before things get out of hand:

1. Stress Gives You Sleepless Nights:

waking up all night due to stress

When you feel stressed, your body activates the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in the brain. This adrenal rush keeps your mind highly active and in such a condition sleeping becomes almost impossible. Our mind forgets to relax when it is under stress, and the same thoughts keep coming back to our minds until we find some solution. In a recent national survey, it was claimed that due to this condition, 44% of adults experience sleepless nights.

Like many others, if excessive worry and racing thoughts make it difficult for you to sleep, it might be a sign that you are stressed. Consequently, all that tossing, turning, and staring at the ceiling can leave you tired and more stressed the next day, and this struggle to sleep soon turns into an endless cycle.

2. Mood swings:

Stress has a direct connection with emotions; that is why you might feel a rapid change in your mood when you are in a stressful situation. According to Ph.D. scholar Tim Hipgrave, it can affect our mood in ways we find difficult to control. Frequent fits of irritation on smallest inconvenience can be the result of your stressed mind.

Studies have also associated anger issues with consistent mental worry that can drastically increase the possibility of heart stroke and depression. If you find yourself getting easily frustrated and agitated every time there is a slightly stressful situation, you should consult a doctor soon. 

3. Stress Leads to Unhealthy Eating Habits:

eating too much unhealthy due to stress

 Do you often find yourself consuming greasy and sugary food, knowing the fact that they are bad for your health? It might also be a sign. Usually, in stress eating, you might often get your hands on high-calorie and high-fat foods. The American Psychological Association ran a survey that suggests a close link between stress and eating habits. 

When the stress persists, the a hormone cortisol motivates us to eat more than usual. As a consequence, you would notice yourself gaining weight; thus, obesity is one BIG sign of increased emotional distress. So, next time you drool over the cheesy burger despite your many efforts to make healthy choices, you should consult a doctor soon.

4. Makes You Less Social: 

According to one research conducted in 2015, social withdrawal is a general consequence of experiencing persistently high-stress levels. Everybody goes through a period of antisocial behavior, but when you frequently avoid social gatherings, it is an indication that you are stressed.

It negatively influences your self-esteem and makes you feel worthless and depressed. As a result, you become physically less active. According to an American survey, 47% of people reported that they become less active when experiencing an episode of stress. This constant trigger of not being enough increases the inclination to hide away, and consequently, you become less social. 

5. Too Much Substance Abuse as a Result: 

Have you ever reached for a glass of beer after a stressful day? Turning to alcohol when stressed seems like an easy way to relax until it becomes a habit. There are several ways people cope with stress but usually, people find comfort in food or substance abuse. Hence, daily use of alcohol or cigarettes can also be a symptom of stress.

As recorded by the research conducted by American Psychological Association, More than one in five Americans said they have been drinking more alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though it feels like an easy way to deal with stress, an excessive amount of alcohol or nicotine can have devastating consequences on your mental and physical health.

6. Stress Causes Problems in Digestion :

 In addition to the mental and emotional toll the stress has on us, it also affects us physically. If you have been sick with constant gastrointestinal issues despite eating healthy food, it means you are stressed. Most of the time your upset stomach has nothing to do with the food itself but the persistent stress can cause such health problems.

Our body requires more energy when the fight or flight response is active; thus, the body slows down the digestive system to store fat. However, when the system remains activated for a long time, it can cause bloating, pain, and even constipation. In some other cases, the motor function in large intestines increases, resulting in diarrhea and frequent trips to the loo. Hence our body gives us signals when we are stressed, but we tend to ignore them altogether. 


All in all, the symptoms of stress can be very vague and appear to be a medical problem rather than a mental issue. You just need to be a little alert to notice when it is taking a toll on your health. As soon as you recognize it, you should seek some management strategies before the stress level exceeds your ability to cope. Keep this list in mind and determine your stress level for an early diagnosis.

So, if you frequently experience lower physical activity, disturbed sleep or stomach, and increased reliance on unhealthy habits. In that case, it might be your green signal to visit a therapist before things get worse. 

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Iman Tareen

    Well explained

  2. Laiba Imtiaz

    Very informative

  3. waqas

    this is so helpful thankyou

  4. Fatima

    People should talk about stress more often.
    Explained well.

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