The Side Effects of Too Much Stress

If you look up the definition of “stress” in a dictionary, you’ll find something like this:  “A specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.”  As you may have learned from some of your English classes, words like “fear” and “disturb” have very negative connotations;  in other words, stress is usually a negative response to negative, threatening stimuli.  All of us deal with stress, and most of us deal with it on a daily basis.  Learning how to recognize stress in your own body is the first step to decreasing the amount of stress that is present in your life.  Read on to discover some of the foremost physical, emotional, and cognitive warning signs of stress.

Image provided by: Oyelola Toyosi

Image provided by: Oyelola Toyosi


Physical Symptoms// if you experience constant aches and pains (especially in the head), bouts of nausea, stomach problems, chest pain, insomnia, and frequent cold and flu infections, chances are that you might be overly stressed.  Try taking hot baths or concentrating on getting enough sleep to jumpstart your body in response to those symptoms.


Emotional Symptoms// if you notice yourself feeling easily overwhelmed, agitated or moody, lonely and isolated, and/ or generally unhappy, you’re probably suffering from some stress.  Research states that simply interacting socially with another person can allow for relief from these symptoms.



Cognitive Symptoms// tell-tale cognitive signs of stress include racing thoughts, concentration and memory problems, constant worrying, disorganization, and extreme pessimism.  Try setting aside time for something you love doing or are passionate about and try to relax to combat these symptoms.  Forcing yourself to slow down and think about the bright side of things does wonders for your overall health and mood.



Stress:  it’s a pretty negative condition that we all go through time and time again; however, the next time you question whether you’re genuinely stressed or just overreacting, remember these signs and symptoms, and take the proper actions for improving your mental and physical health.