When we are exposed to high levels of stress for a long period of time, our nervous system starts accumulating the stress. At some point, we start facing chronic stress symptoms: both physical and mental, which can cause a severe decrease in the quality of life and overall wellbeing.
In this article, you will learn how to identify the symptoms of chronic stress!
Let’s get started!
Physical symptoms of chronic stress
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Stomach butterflies. Just like the ones before an exam or a date with a new crush.
- Fatigue. Then you just want to sleep and don’t leave the house.
- Inability to stay concentrated. EVERYTHING distracts you: from police sirens to the clock on your wall.
- Lack of energy. Even walking for 10 minutes makes you feel tired.
- Muscle twitches. That is when a specific muscle contracts and relaxes with a quick pace and you cannot do anything about it.
- Insomnia. You simply cannot fall asleep. Thoughts fly in and out of your head, and even counting sheeps does not help.
Psychological symptoms of chronic stress
- Anxiety. Feeling insecure, doubtful, and uncertain of everything that you do and everything around you.
- Panic attacks. They appear without any apparent reason and all of a sudden. They can have many different symptoms, such as obsessive thoughts, shortness of breath, intense headache, feeling for heart attack, increased heart rate, choking, chest pain, hands and feet numbness, a strong fear of death and losing control (also from going crazy), etc.
- Eating disorders. They are characterized by a desire to either eat huge amounts of food, stop eating at all or feeling extreme guilt when consuming food. All types of people can experience those, and they cannot be judged by the way they look.
- Depression. Feeling guilty, frustrated, angry, irritated, miserable, sad, unconfident, indecisive, tired, or sick. Not going out, gaining, or losing weight. Depression is a severe symptom which has to be recognized and treated correctly.
- Irritability. Even the smallest problem makes you angry. For example, if somebody doesn’t pick the phone.
- Anger. You become angry often and about things that haven’t made you angry before.
- Mood changes. It takes 1 minute to go from smiling and laughing to quiet and anxious.
- Overthinking. That’s when you start playing different situations in your head, thinking about what will happen. Often the imagined situations are far from reality because people tend to think about the worse that can happen. Those fake, imaginary stories lead to even more stress and unreasonable worrying.
- Sadness. Just feeling sad, without knowing why.
- Burnout. The symptoms can be the same as the ones of panic attacks. But burnout is caused by overworking for a long period of time.
- Addictions. When you feel chronic stress, it is easy to find “releaf” in alcohol, cigarettes, games, drugs or other addicting activities.
- Obsessive thoughts. It doesn’t matter if you work, relax, cook, or hang out with friends. There are specific thoughts in your head that don’t give you a break.
Even though the strength of the symptoms does not decrease in time, the majority of people who face those gets used to them after a while. And that is not because they feel better, but because they think that “this stressful time will pass soon,” and they would manage to handle the situation until then. But this is a big mistake!
Do you know that your body gets so used to the symptoms of stress, that even when the hard time is over, it continues to feel the same way and to face the same symptoms?