Stress symptoms can manifest in a variety of ways, impacting both mental and physical well-being. These symptoms represent the body's response to the activation of the "fight or flight" mechanism in response to stressors, whether they originate from work pressures, personal life challenges, or external demands.
Physically, stress often manifests as muscle tension, headaches, and an elevated heart rate. Prolonged stress may lead to more serious physical problems, including digestive disturbances, persistent pain, and even cardiovascular issues. The immune system's functioning can also be compromised under stress, making individuals more susceptible to illnesses.
Emotionally and psychologically, stress can result in heightened anxiety, irritability, and mood fluctuations. Individuals may experience feelings of being overwhelmed, struggle with concentration, and contend with racing thoughts. Sleep disturbances and changes in eating habits frequently accompany stress. Moreover, pre existing mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety disorders, can be exacerbated.
Observable changes in behaviour can also serve as indicators of stress. Some individuals resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms like excessive drinking, smoking, or overindulgence in food. Others may withdraw from social interactions and responsibilities, while some may become more reactive and irritable in their interactions with others.
Cognitively, individuals grappling with stress often grapple with racing thoughts, persistent worry, and difficulties in making decisions. Memory lapses and challenges in maintaining concentration are prevalent, potentially hindering daily functioning.