20 Weird Symptoms Of Stress
Tight, sore muscles
Frequent headachesThat 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 painTooth 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.
Persistent thirstWhen 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 reasonMost 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.
Hair lossEveryone 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.
Digestive issuesThe 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.
Frequent illnessPart 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 appetiteMinor 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.
Poor memoryChronic 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.
Period changesMenstrual 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 littleSleep 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.
Weird dreamsIn 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 decisionsStress 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.
Easily overwhelmedStress 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 throatSometimes, 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.
Skin issuesIf 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 smellOur 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 earsThe 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 painAs 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 StressIt’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.
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*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.