Stress: Body, Feelings, and Behavior

Stress: Body, Feelings, and Behavior

by Posted on: July 30, 2012Categories: LiveWell 24/7   

Stress symptoms: Effects on your body, feelings and behavior

Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit.

Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Of course, if you’re not sure if stress is the cause or if you’ve taken steps to control your stress but your symptoms continue, see your doctor. Your doctor may want to check for other potential causes.

Also, if you have chest pain, especially if it occurs during physical activity or is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, dizziness, nausea, or pain radiating into your shoulder and arm, get emergency help immediately. These may be warning of a heart attack and not simply stress symptoms.

Common effects of stress …

On Your Body… On Your Mood… On Your Behavior…
Headaches Anxiety Overeating or Undereating
Muscle Tension or Pain Restlessness Angry Outbursts
Chest Pain Lack of Motivation Drug or Alcohol Abuse
Fatigue Lack of Focus Tobacco Use
Change in Sex Drive Irritability Social Withdrawl
Upset Stomach Anger  
Sleep Problems Sadness and Depression  

Source: American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America” report, 2010/Mayo Clinic

If you do have stress symptoms, taking steps to manage your stress can have numerous health benefits. Explore stress management strategies such as:

  • Physical activity
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Tai chi

If you would like to take a short stress assessment, click on the link below:



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