The 5 Main Physical Symptoms of Stress

Stress manifests itself in various ways, but its physical symptoms of stress are usually very telling. Stress is stored in our bodies in the form of tension and tightness, but also displays itself in various other ways physically. If you can identify these physical symptoms of stress early on, it’ll help you manage stress better.

Physical symptoms of stress

Headaches. When stressed, your cortisol levels rise. This leads to your blood vessels tightening. As a result, you experience headaches and other tension related aches.These headaches can last for a few minutes to many hours and are usually quite intense. It’s one of the first physical symptoms of stress.

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Rapid heart rate. Adrenaline rushes are commonly associated with stress. This activates your fight or flight response. As a result, there is a sharp increase in your heart rate. Your chest area may experience some pain, your heart beats faster and you may feel the pressure. This is usually one of most common physical symptoms of stress and it suggests you may need to take a break and relax for a short time. If not managed properly, stress can even lead to a cardiac arrest and other serious health problems.

Loss of sex drive. Stress can directly impact your sex life. The hormonal imbalance caused due to stress leads to a change in your libido. As a result, you lose interest in sex. Moreover, exhaustion due to stress is also a factor. Since you do not have the energy and your mind may be pre-occupied with what’s causing you the stress, you don’t care for sex much when stressed.

Exhaustion. Stress takes a toll on your physical energy. When under pressure constantly, you can get drained very easily. In case you notice yourself feeling very tired after work for a couple of days in a row, know that it could be one of the physical symptoms of stress!

Cough & cold. When stressed for a while, your immunity takes a hit. You start becoming more prone to colds, fever and other simpler illnesses. This is because your body is used to only short bursts of stress. As a result of prolonged stress, your body is unable to cope with the stress and you experience weakened immunity. 

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These are some of the common physical symptoms of stress. There are also emotional and behavioural symptoms which can affect you. Know that not all of these may be true for you and stress may manifest in different ways. It’s important to practice stress management as a hygiene habit, so you’re always balanced. Including simple activities in your daily routine can help manage stress.

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