Signs of Stress

In this section we will look at 3 categories of stress and their signs:

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Physical Signs

  • Elevated heart rate / High blood pressure
  • Increased sweating
  • Rushes of energy, then fatigue
  • Headaches and muscle tension – neck and shoulders lower back
  • Chest pain or back pains
  • Lower immunity to infections – frequent colds etc
  • Digestive problems, stomach pains – early signs of perhaps an ulcer
  • Weight gains or loss – dramatic
  • Fainting problems
  • Unexplained rashes
  • Untidy, changes in dress code, personal hygiene

Emotional signs

  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Despair
  • Anxiety
  • Anger, agitation, irritability
  • Alienation – avoids people
  • Feeling insecure and vulnerable
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lacking in motivation
  • Restlessness

Behavioural signs

  • Unable to concentrate
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Substance use 
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Tearful or crying often
  • Relationship problems – home, colleagues
  • Angry outbursts
  • Swearing
  • Frustration at anything even if a minor task – no milk for the tea
  • Late starts, long times away from workstation
  • Nail biting, skin picking
  • Unkempt appearance

If you can identify with more than 3 of the above on a daily basis, you may need to have some help in managing your stress. Please do not wait for it to become unmanageable before you seek help.


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