Stress can manifest itself in a number of different ways, both emotionally and physically. Sometimes it’s easy to tell that what you’re feeling is caused by stress. But it's not always so obvious. Take a look at some of the weird symptoms of stress that you might be overlooking.
20 Weird Symptoms Of Stress
Tight, sore muscles
Lower back feeling tight? Shoulders tense and knotted? Got a kink in your neck? It could be because of stress. It’s common to carry extra tension in your muscles when you’re feeling stressed and that can manifest as tenderness in your body that feels like a strain or injury.
That same tension can also cause headaches. Stress headaches are often characterized as a dull, aching pain that feels sort of like a band tightening around your head. If you’re experiencing this type of headache frequently, it may be caused by stress.
Tooth or jaw pain
Tooth clenching or grinding, known as bruxism, can happen whether you’re aware of it or not. It often happens while you’re sleeping and can cause jaw soreness and even tooth damage. And the most common cause of tooth grinding is stress.
When your body is in the fight-or-flight response, your adrenal glands pump stress hormones into your bloodstream. However, your adrenal glands are also responsible for keeping your body’s fluid levels and electrolytes in check. So if they’re overworked because of chronic stress, this can lead to imbalances that leave you feeling perpetually dehydrated.
Sweating for no reason
Most people have experienced sweating before an anxiety-inducing event, like public speaking. Stress sweat is triggered by adrenaline and is closely tied to the fight-or-flight response. If you find yourself perspiring even though you aren’t doing anything that would normally break a sweat, it could be a sign your body is feeling stressed.
Everyone sheds a bit of hair every day. But if you’re noticing an increase in hair loss, it might be stress related. Stress can contribute to hair loss by causing hair follicles to be pushed out prematurely or causing your immune system to attack hair follicles.
The gut and brain are very closely connected, so it should come as no surprise that stress can manifest as digestive problems. Issues like cramping, bloating, heartburn, gas, and even changes in your gut flora can all be caused by stress.
Part of our body’s stress response is to suppress “non-essential” functions like the immune system in the face of an immediate threat. However, if that stress response becomes chronic, it can wreak havoc on your immune system, making you more likely to get sick and making it more difficult to recover from illness.
Changes in weight and appetite
Minor fluctuations in weight are completely normal. But if you find yourself suddenly gaining or losing weight, stress could be to blame. Changes in appetite, whether an increase or decrease, are also closely linked to stress.
Chronic stress has been shown to reduce spatial memory, which is what helps you remember locations, objects, and other ordinary aspects of life. When life gets busy it can be easy to brush off forgetfulness but it’s often a clear indication of excessive stress.
Menstrual cycles are known to fluctuate a bit but sudden changes are something to be aware of. If you notice your period starts coming late or you're skipping cycles altogether, it’s likely that you’re dealing with too much stress.
Sleeping too much or too little
Sleep habits are often one of the first things negatively affected by high levels of stress. Whether you’re finding it difficult to fall and stay asleep or you want to stay in bed all day, it’s a sign that you need to get your stress under control.
In addition to changes in your sleep, having strange, vivid, or otherwise bad dreams is often correlated with stress. It’s how your brain tries to work through the negative and stressful emotions from your day and also a sign that you aren’t getting as much deep sleep.
Trouble making decisions
Stress can not only make it difficult to make small decisions throughout your day but it can also impair your ability to thoroughly think through all aspects of bigger decisions, too. A stressed out brain will tend to focus on only the positive outcomes of a decision, meaning you might overlook potentially negative consequences when faced with a decision.
Stress makes everything seem more difficult. From routine chores and errands to basic tasks like making a phone call, everything can begin to feel overwhelming. If every task on your to-do list feels like too much effort, you’re probably dealing with stress.
Lump in throat
Sometimes, stress can show up in the body in strange ways. It might make you feel like there’s a lump in your throat or create the feeling like you can’t swallow even though there’s nothing actually there thanks to the muscles in the lower part of your throat constricting under anxiety.
If your skin is suddenly freaking it, it’s probably stress. Whether you’re experiencing hives, rash, red splotches, or itchy patches, stress is known to cause new skin problems and worsen existing conditions like psoriasis or rosacea.
Heightened sense of smell
Our sense of smell and emotions have a close relationship, which is why smells can trigger such strong emotional memories. For some people, an increase in stress results in a heightened sense of smell.
Ringing in your ears
The amygdala is the part of the brain that responds to stress and it also helps to process sound. That’s why it’s not uncommon for people who are under high levels of stress to experience a persistent ringing, buzzing, or chirping sound in their ears.
Increased sensitivity to pain
As mentioned above, stress can cause a lot of physical tension throughout the body. But to make matters worse, stress affects the way you experience pain, reducing tolerance and increasing your perceived level of pain.
Ways To Manage Stress
It’s clear that chronic stress can impact every aspect of your life. So once you recognize the different signs of stress in the body, what can you do about it? It requires daily effort but a few simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference.
- Eat well. Fuel your body with nutrient-dense, wholesome foods that give you energy and avoid highly processed, sugary foods and drinks.
- Move your body. Getting at least 30 minutes of activity daily is ideal. And if you take your movement outside, you get the added benefit of fresh air and vitamin D from sunlight.
- Meditate. Even just 5-10 minutes of daily meditation can make a big difference in lowering your current stress levels and helping you manage any new stress that comes your way.
- Prioritize your sleep. Getting at least 6-8 hours of high-quality sleep every night is critical in helping your body manage stress. Adopting a good evening ritual can help you wind down and fall asleep faster.
- Practice self-care. Taking time every day to do something for yourself is incredibly important. Whether it’s journaling, taking a bath, doing a bit of yoga, or reading a book with a soothing hot drink, make your daily self-care routine a priority.
A delicious way to elevate your self-care practice is by incorporating Golden Superfood Bliss. This spiced superfood blend contains 12 powerful ingredients that crush hunger cravings, help relieve stress, and improve the quality of your sleep. *
Want more ways to manage your stress? Check out these articles!
- 3 WAYS STRESS IMPACTS HEALTH + WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
- THE BENEFITS OF EVENING RITUALS + HOW TO GET STARTED
- 4 WAYS TO STOP EMOTIONAL EATING IN ITS TRACKS
- YES, THERE’S A BLISS MOLECULE. HERE’S HOW YOU CAN GET MORE OF IT.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.