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Managing stress and emotions
Physical, Emotional, and Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Stress

Physical, Emotional, and Behavioral Signs and Symptoms of Stress

Stress can be a good motivator - in moderation. Too much stress can do damage to our bodies...

Stress can be a good motivator-- in moderation. Too much stress can do damage to our bodies and minds. How do we know when we are under too much pressure? 

Physical Signs

There are many physical symptoms of excessive stress: 

  • Extreme fatigue, which can result in falling asleep earlier or later than usual or losing focus during daily tasks.
  • A sudden change in your weight; some people react to stress by eating a lot more than usual; some people respond by eating less. 
  • Excessive sweating
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Emotional Signs 

Emotional symptoms of extreme stress can include:

  • Anger and irritability, like getting angry at things that don't usually bother you.
  • A rise in anxiety can also be a symptom. 
  • Stress can shut down emotions, too, leaving you feeling numb and depressed.

Behavioral Signs

Specific changes in behavior sometimes related to stress:

  • Crying frequently, or in circumstances that don't typically cause you to get emotional.
  • You begin avoiding friends, family, and social situations,
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What to Do If You Feel Overly Stressed

If you identified with any of these signs, speak to a medical professional. It's not always possible to change a stressful situation, but a medical professional can help you manage your symptoms better, so you feel more comfortable.

Other options for overcoming stress include:

  • Exercise -  Exercise releases endorphins in your brain, which make you feel good and counteracts the negative emotion. 
  • Get plenty of sleep - Adequate sleep ensures that your body does not release excess stress hormones, and improves your energy levels. 
  • Meditate - Meditation slows the rushing thoughts that may be causing you stress. 

All of these strategies will help you manage your stress when you cannot control its cause.

This article has been medically reviewed by
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Nurse Practitioner

Erin is a Nurse Practitioner with 8 years of experience in midwifery and women's health. She has spent the past 5 years specializing in the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorders.

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