Stress Effects

How Is Stress Affecting You?

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50 Common Symptoms
The Psychological Effects of Stress
How It Affects Your Body

50 Common Signs and Symptoms of Stress


  1. Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
  2. Gritting, grinding teeth
  3. Stuttering or stammering
  4. Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
  5. Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
  6. Light headedness, faintness, dizziness
  7. Ringing, buzzing or “popping sounds
  8. Frequent blushing, sweating
  9. Cold or sweaty hands, feet
  10. Dry mouth, problems swallowing
  11. Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores
  12. Rashes, itching, hives, “goose bumps”
  13. Unexplained or frequent “allergy” attacks
  14. Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea
  15. Excess belching, flatulence
  16. Constipation, diarrhea, loss of control
  17. Difficulty breathing, frequent sighing
  18. Sudden attacks of life threatening panic
  19. Chest pain, palpitations, rapid pulse
  20. Frequent urination
  21. Diminished sexual desire or performance
  22. Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness
  23. Increased anger, frustration, hostility
  24. Depression, frequent or wild mood swings
  25. Increased or decreased appetite
  1. Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
  2. Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts
  3. Trouble learning new information
  4. Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion
  5. Difficulty in making decisions
  6. Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed
  7. Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts
  8. Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness
  9. Little interest in appearance, punctuality
  10. Nervous habits, fidgeting, feet tapping
  11. Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
  12. Overreaction to petty annoyances
  13. Increased number of minor accidents
  14. Obsessive or compulsive behavior
  15. Reduced work efficiency or productivity
  16. Lies or excuses to cover up poor work
  17. Rapid or mumbled speech
  18. Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness
  19. Problems in communication, sharing
  20. Social withdrawal and isolation
  21. Constant tiredness, weakness, fatigue
  22. Frequent use of over-the-counter drugs
  23. Weight gain or loss without diet
  24. Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use
  25. Excessive gambling or impulse buying

The Effects of Stress

As demonstrated in the above list, stress can have wide ranging effects on emotions, mood and behavior. Equally important but often less appreciated are effects on various systems, organs and tissues all over the body, as illustrated by the following diagram.

The Effects of Stress
stress to joy
How Stress Affects Your Body

How Stress Affects Your Body

Another infographic from Healthline shows the effects of stress on your body.

Stress is a natural physical and mental reaction to life experiences. Everyone expresses stress from time to time. Anything from everyday responsibilities like work and family to serious life events such as a new diagnosis, war, or the death of a loved one can trigger stress. For immediate, short-term situations, stress can be beneficial to your health. It can help you cope with potentially serious situations. Your body responds to stress by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.

Yet if your stress response doesn’t stop firing, and these stress levels stay elevated far longer than is necessary for survival, it can take a toll on your health. Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being. Symptoms of chronic stress include:

  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • headaches
  • insomnia

How Stress Affects Sleep

This infographic from Insider Living shows how stress affects sleep.

  • 26% of women report trouble sleeping at least once a week compared to only 16% of men.
  • 19% of individuals ages 25-64 admit to losing sleep due to stress a few nights per week.
  • 54% say that stress or anxiety increased their anxiety about falling asleep at night.
  • 52% of men and 42% of women reported that stress affected their ability to remain focused the next day.

Check out more facts about sleep.