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  • Dr. Linda Cherry

Signs Of Stress

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

SIGNS OF STRESS

What are common signs and symptoms of stress? How do I know if I’m under too much stress or not handling my stress effectively? Understanding yourself and how it impacts performance is key.


Stress can impact us in numerous ways. Our bodies may show physical signs of stress. We may notice changes in our emotions and moods. We also may start behaving in different ways when we’re not handling stress well. The following table lists common physical, emotional, and behavioral consequences of stress. Check off the ones that are familiar to you in time of stress.

Physical:

 Headache

 Stomachache/GI problems

 Muscle tension

 Decreased appetite

 Increased appetite

 Tired

 Low energy

 Poor concentration

 Increased blood pressure

 Other _____________


Emotional

 Anger

 Sadness

 Depression

 Guilt

 Frustration

 Worry

 Hopelessness

 Overwhelmed

 Other _____________


Behavioral

 Arguing

 Aggressiveness

 Withdrawing

 Sleeping more

 Sleeping less

 Eating more

 Eating less

 Increased alcohol use

 Increased tobacco use

 Decreased activity level

 Other ____________


The Stress Response versus the Relaxation Response

When we experience stress or when we are relaxed, our bodies react in predictable ways. Descriptions of different aspects of the stress and relaxation responses are provided below. Each of these responses can be helpful at times, but sometimes we may experience stress to an unhealthy degree. Since we cannot be both stressed and relaxed at the same time, by learning to activate the relaxation response we can decrease the stress response and enjoy overall better health. We can experience great benefits from learning ways to “turn on” the relaxation response using specific techniques to help us better handle stress.

Body System The Stress Response The Relaxation Response

Heart Rate Increases Rate Decreases

Lungs Short and Shallow Deep and Slow

Blood Sugar Increases Decreases

Muscles Tense Relaxed

Stomach Minimal Function Normal Function

Adrenal Gland Increase Secretion Decreases Secretion

Immune System Minimal Function Normal Function


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