Common Symptoms of High Stress
One in three Americans report that they are experiencing high levels of stress according to a recent poll conducted by the American Psychological Association. The United StatesCenter for Disease Control and Prevention reports that two-thirds of doctor visits are stress related. Long-term exposure to stress has been linked to health problems ranging from frequent colds to heart disease. Protect yourself by recognizing and addressing the symptoms of stress.
High levels of stress can affect the quality of your sleep. Poor sleep quality and shorter sleep duration can impair your daytime functioning. University of MinnesotaMedicalSchool neurology professor Mark Mahowald states, “Any amount of sleep deprivation will diminish mental performance. One complete night of sleep deprivation is as impairing in simulated driving tests as a legally intoxicating blood-alcohol level.”
Stress headaches, also called tension headaches, may cause mild to moderate pain and pressure in your head. Tension headaches come in various forms. You may feel a constant band-like feeling of tightness or a throbbing on one or both sides of your head. The symptoms are caused by muscle tightness in the back of the neck and scalp. You may also experience tightness in your jaw. Stress headaches often begin in the middle of the day and gradually get worse.
Stomach aches, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation may all be symptoms of stress. Gastroenterologist Francisco Marrero of the Digestive Disease Institute at the Cleveland Clinic says, “There is definitely a connection between the brain and the gut. The gut is called the little brain — it’s the largest area of nerves outside the brain.”
Emotions and stress may have a negative affect on your immune system causing frequent illnesses. A study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics revealed a link between stress and depression and lower levels of disease-fighting T-cells and lymphocytes in the blood streams of their test subjects. Dr. Esther Sternberg, director of the Integrative Neural Immune Program with the National Institute of Mental Health states; “… if you have too much stress hormone shutting down the immune response, you can’t fight off infection and you’re more susceptible to infection,”
Stress produces a fight or flight reaction in your body causing a surge of hormones. This experience can make you feel as if your heart is racing, pounding or missing beats. You may feel palpitations in your throat, neck, or chest. Consult your doctor regarding your heart palpitations.
Emotional and Cognitive Symptoms
Stress can interfere with your ability to enjoy life. You may feel irritable, unable to concentrate, fatigued, helpless and easily confused. According the American Psychological Association, prolonged stress may increase thoughts of suicide.
For a more in depth article on stress and some excellent, proven stress management strategies, read this Natural News article written by my favorite author: