Warning Signs of Stress

From the Summer 2014 edition of Vanderbilt Medicine Magazine

Your body’s stress warning signs tell you that something isn’t right. Much like the glowing orange “check engine” light on your car’s dashboard, if you neglect the alerts sent out by your body, you could have a major engine malfunction. Stress that is left unchecked or poorly managed is known to contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and suicide. So when things aren’t going your way, or you feel like you are losing control or are overwhelmed, pay attention to the warning signs listed below. They are just some of the ways that your body is telling you it needs maintenance and extra care.

• Headaches, muscle tension, neck or back pain

• Upset stomach

• Dry mouth

• Chest pains, rapid heartbeat

• Difficulty falling or staying asleep

• Fatigue

• Loss of appetite or overeating “comfort foods”

• Increased frequency of colds

• Lack of concentration or focus

• Memory problems or forgetfulness

• Jitters

• Irritability

• Short temper

• Anxiety


Source: American Psychological Association