Stress is the sense of being overwhelmed or unable to deal with mental or emotional burdens. Many different situations or life events like losing a job, unexpected money problems, or family problems can cause mental stress.
What are the signs of stress?
Stress reflects in your daily behavior. If you notice carefully, you will see symptoms of being mentally stressed. Anxiety, aggression, irritability, frustration and, depression are some of the symptoms.
If you are stressed, you may have problems getting to sleep or staying asleep. Headache, nausea, indigestion, sweating, heart pulsations and, body pains are often triggered due to mental stress.
Common effects of stress:
If the stress is long-lasting, you may notice changes in sleep patterns, eating habits and, memory. Unchecked stress can contribute to serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and, diabetes. You might feel fearful, irritable or, overwhelmed. Whether you’re aware or not, you may start drinking or smoking more than you did earlier.
Work can also be the origin of great stress. If you are in a job you do not like or are overworked, mental stress may develop. Finding balance and managing stress is an important step to maintain your mental health.
Let us take a deeper look into these symptoms and effects:
Headache is also known as tension headache and is caused due to tense muscles in the head, neck, and face. These tight muscles may be due to mental stress or anxiety.
Stress eating: Some people react to stress by eating even when they are not hungry. If you find yourself eating without thought, binging in the middle of the night, or generally overeating, you might be prey to stress eating. When you stress eat, you consume more calories than you need. It leads to weight gain and a host of other health problems. And it does nothing to relieve your stress.
Anxiety: Anxiety and stress are closely associated. Stress is when you feel high levels of fear, worry or, unease. Having both stress and anxiety can negatively impact your health and develop into panic disorder and depression.
Respiratory and cardiovascular problems: Rapid breathing, risk of heart attack, pounding heart are some problems caused due to mental stress. In response to the stress, you breathe faster to distribute oxygen-rich blood to the body quickly. If you already have breathing problems, stress can make it even harder to breathe. It also raises blood pressure and increases the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
Digestive problems: Under stress, the liver produces more glucose, increasing the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Accelerated breathing and raised heart rate can perturb your digestive system. It can lead to diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and stomachaches.
Low Fertility: Stress interferes with the reproductive system in both men and women and may make it harder to conceive.
Stress can also lead to erectile dysfunction in men and missed periods in women. Stress and the fatigue that comes along with it can cause low sex drive.
Immunity: Stress hormones weaken your immune system and reduce the body’s responses to foreign invaders. People under stress are vulnerable to viral illnesses like the common cold, flu, and other infections. Mental stress can also increase the time you take to recover from a disease or an injury.