9 Warning Signs of Stress (and How to Stop It in Its Tracks)

warning signs of stress

As humans, we experience a wide range of emotions and feelings; unfortunately, this includes stress. It’s an unpleasant feeling, but necessary, as it tells us that maybe we need to take a step back and reevaluate how we’re living our lives.

In this article, you’ll find out the warning signs of stress and some wholesome ways of dealing with it.

1. A Higher Heart Rate

When something stresses you out, it triggers the fight or flight response. As a result, your heart rate will increase; this is to accommodate any physical responses you may need to make to whatever is “threatening” you.

2. Muscle Pain

A natural reflex of your body is to tense up when you’re stressed out. Depending on how serious the stress is, you may be clenching muscles for hours at a time without noticing it. You may be tensing up your jaw, fist, shoulders, or arms.

Because of your tension, this can result in both muscle pain and headaches, due to clenched jaws.

3. Irritation and Anger

When you’re in a good mood, it takes a lot more for you to get angry and agitated. On the other hand, when you’re anxious, it’s more likely for things to boil over quicker than normal.

You may find yourself snapping at people more and also getting mad at things that usually don’t bother you much.

4. Trouble Sleeping

If you’re stressed out about something, you may be mulling it over in your head a lot. Doing this before sleeping can keep you up late into the night.

After tossing and turning, you may experience even more symptoms, such as fogginess, fatigue, and even nausea and hallucinations if you’ve gotten little to no sleep.

5. Decrease in Libido

Stress can take its toll on your sex drive. With heavy things weighing on your mind, sex can be the last thing you are thinking of.

Regarding your libido, you can also have a physiological response to stress as well. Long-term stress can cause a drop in production of testosterone for men and worse periods for women.

6. Gastrointestinal Problems

Whether you had preexisting gastrointestinal issues or not, stress can bring on or exacerbate them. Conditions include inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and peptic ulcer disease.

7. Depression

When you’re dealing with stress and develop anxiety, depression can come hand-in-hand. It’s understandable since you can feel sad and hopeless when you think about the situation you’re in.

The depression can make it tougher to handle the stress, which can create a vicious cycle for depression and anxiety.

8. Abuse of Alcohol and Drugs

In response to the stress you’re feeling, you may look for an outlet or escape. Some can be quite unhealthy, such as alcohol and drugs. Not only are these things physically addicting, but they also have the potential for mental addiction. If you keep using these things whenever you feel stressed out, you’ll keep wanting to turn to them, no matter how little the stressor is.

9. Getting Sick More Often

Chronic stress can lower your immune system. As a result, you’ll be more susceptible to getting the cold and flu, especially if you work with other people a lot. If you’re always ill, you have too much on your plate and aren’t handling it properly.

Healthy Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress in your life is unavoidable; there will always be uncomfortable situations that cause you to be anxious. However, there are some healthy ways you can bring your tension levels down so your body doesn’t suffer.

Get a Massage

Massages are a great way to address both the physical and mental aspects of stress. An amazing massage therapist will get all the knots out and relieve pain in your muscles.

Massages are usually given in a room with low lighting and relaxing soundtracks, so you can get the safe space you need to relax and unwind. You can even choose aromatherapy to de-stress even further.

If stress is a constant thing in your life, consider getting a massage membership. That way, you can get continual relief without spending too much money in the long run.

Take a Bath

If you don’t have the luxury of visiting a spa or massage therapist, you can create your own “therapy” at home. Draw yourself a bath and light some candles. Put on some relaxing tracks and forbid anybody from bothering you during your bath.

Although it’s not as effective as a massage, baths can also relieve muscle pain and give you mental breathing room.

Pick up a Sport

Blowing off some steam is an effective way of releasing all the tension in your body. You’ll get to empty out your frustrations so there’s less chance of it happening while you’re at work or interacting with your family.

Plus, there’s the additional benefit of getting fitter. Not only will you feel better, but you’ll look better too.

Take a Vacation

We all need to get away sometime, especially when life’s too much to handle. Taking a vacation every year or so can be a great way to take a break and reset.

If traveling outside of the country is too expensive for you, there are still plenty of fun places to visit in the USA. Take your vacation as an opportunity to explore how diverse each state is and to see what our country has to offer.

Recognize the Warning Signs of Stress

Now that you know the warning signs of stress and the ways to alleviate them, you should have a better time handling anything life throws at you. Whether it’s an unruly patient or an argument with a family member, you’ll have healthy ways of coping with any type of tension.

Feel like the stress is too much and you need to remove yourself from the situation? Then read our tips for retirement.