Signs Of Stress: Effects On Your Body And Behavior

Signs Of Stress: Effects On Your Body And Behavior

Uploaded on
Feb 6, 2023
Last updated on
Feb 11, 2023
Uploaded on
Feb 6, 2023
Last updated on
Feb 11, 2023
Signs of stress
Stressed spelled backwards is desserts

“Sometimes, the most productive thing you can do is relax.” Those are wise words to live by. As a student, life isn’t always easy. You not only have classes and assignments to worry about, but you’re also likely taking care of managing your expenses and household for the first time. All of this can be overwhelming, and if you’re not careful, it can start taking a toll on you. If you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately, watch out for these common signs of stress and read our blog to find the best ways to manage it.  

What is stress?

Most of us know it when we feel it, but from a medical perspective, stress refers to the body’s emotional or physical response to anything that is causing any sort of physiological strain. Every human being experiences stress to some degree, but the level to which it affects each person’s body is different, which is why some people just seem more at peace than others. To make sure you’re not putting your body through more than it can handle, you need to watch out for the common signs of stress and see how to best manage your symptoms. 

What are the symptoms of stress?

As you may have noticed just by looking at your peers, stress can manifest in many different ways and changes from person to person. Some people may be more prone to presenting physical symptoms of stress, while others may show psychological signs of stress. Small changes in your mood or habits may be signs of stress that you could just be missing out on or underplaying. 

Physical symptoms of stress

Whenever you’re stressed, a flight or flight response gets triggered within your body that prompts the release of hormones within the body like adrenaline and cortisol. The prolonged exposure of your body to these hormones has many adverse effects on your health that can manifest in a number of different ways. Some of the most common physical signs & symptoms of stress include:

  1. Headaches
  2. High blood pressure 
  3. Nausea
  4. Dizziness
  5. Heartburn & indigestion 
  6. Sudden weight gain 
  7. Sudden weight loss
  8. Diarrhoea or Constipation
  9. Fatigue
  10. Rashes 
  11. Difficulty breathing 
  12. Panic attacks
  13. Nail biting, eating or pulling hair & manifestations of physical obsessive & compulsive behaviour

Psychological symptoms of stress

For some people, stress doesn’t have as many physical implications as it has psychological. There are a number of psychological symptoms of stress that can cause people a great deal of mental anguish. The increase of hormones within our body when we’re stressed overworks the neurotransmitters within our brain, which reduces the brain’s ability to properly regulate emotions, causing several psychological signs of stress that become visible through our behaviour. Some of the most common emotional signs of stress in students include: 

  1. Memory loss
  2. Inability to focus 
  3. Anger 
  4. Irritability 
  5. Short attention span
  6. Trouble concentrating
  7. Insomnia
  8. Feeling anxious and overwhelmed
  9. Loss of motivation
  10. Constantly worried   

The psychological signs of stress can be just as troublesome, if not more, than the physical symptoms of stress. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to consult with a healthcare professional if any of these symptoms start increasingly interfering with your day-to-day life. 

What are some strategies for stress relief?

There isn’t really an all-in-one solution that will suddenly make you stress-free. If there were, then no one would be stressed. However, if you believe that you are under an immense level of strain and want to find ways to reduce your symptoms of stress, there are several things that you can try. Some common stress relief strategies include:

  • Meditation: Stress causes your mind to feel constantly overwhelmed and out of control. If your symptoms of stress are primarily psychological, mediation can help calm down and focus your thoughts. Meditation is primarily used to increase your self-awareness, both physically and mentally, which can help you with your symptoms of stress by allowing you to have a better understanding of what your mind and body need. 
  • Therapy: In an age where we’re giving increased importance to self-care, we need to start treating our mental health with the same importance as our physical health. All your signs of stress can likely be traced back to a single chain of thought or way of thinking. However, sometimes we need some guidance to help us understand exactly what that is. That’s where therapy comes in. Talking to an experienced professional can help you understand your emotions better and even help you learn new things about yourself. 
  • Exercise: Whether your symptoms of stress are physical or psychological, exercise is one of the surest ways to help reduce your stress. Exercise releases a flood of endorphins into your body which are proven to help boost your mood. Once you feel better, your mind will be clear, and you’ll be able to deal with your stress more effectively. Exercise also acts as a means of catharsis that can help you release any pent-up emotions. 

What are some ways to prevent stress?

While stress often comes and goes, if your symptoms of stress are very extreme, you may want to look into some preventive measures.  Small lifestyle changes can help you better manage your stress by helping you keep yourself at peace. As a student, college life doesn’t always make for the most stress-free environment, but here are a few things you can do that should help you reduce your symptoms of stress. 

  • Practice self-care: Anything you do that is in the best interest of your physical or mental well-being acts as a way of practising self-care. When you take the time to take of yourself, whether that means taking long showers, buying yourself a treat or taking yourself out of a bad situation, you’re actively taking measures to reduce your stress. If you start noticing that you’re exhibiting any signs of stress, take out an hour for yourself and focus on doing something that will make you feel good about yourself. 
  • Get enough sleep: Never underestimate the importance of sleep. We know what you’re thinking. If insomnia is a symptom of stress, how are you supposed to stick to a sleep schedule when you can’t fall asleep? This is a bit of a catch-22 situation, but after one night of good sleep, you’ll see the wonders a well-rested mind can do. Keeping your room dark, room temperature low, avoiding caffeine & alcohol and reducing your screen time before bed are a few things you can try to help you sleep better at night. 
  • Keep a healthy diet: A healthy body means a healthy mind. Cup noodles may be cheap but they aren’t very nutritional. The lack of proper nutrition means that your body will not be functioning at its highest potential, and so any symptoms of stress that you may experience will only worsen if you have an unhealthy diet. A good diet keeps your body at peace so your mind has one less thing to worry about. As a student, there are a number of quick and easy recipes for you to try that will not only keep you healthy but also won’t take up your time. 

These are just a few ways you can keep yourself stress-free, but if you find yourself too overwhelmed, check out our advice on the top tips for stress management and the best stress management activities. We hope you’ve found this blog helpful and have a better idea of the different signs of stress and how to manage it. While your stress won’t disappear overnight, we’ll leave you with this, “If it were easy, anyone would do it. But this isn’t easy, and you aren’t just anyone.”