Overview Of Stress

Sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between stress and anxiety. The physical symptoms are similar. But with stress, most people can work out what's causing it, while anxiety can be more of a general feeling with no obvious cause.
Most of us have symptoms of stress at some stage. Overcoming challenges is just part of life. But when the stress doesn't let up, or we feel out of control and unable to cope, stress can start to damage our health or the health of those close to us.
Different people have different symptoms, but there are three broad types.
Physical symptoms

Stress can make our body react in ways we can't control.
  • Aching joints, muscles and headaches. These happen when we tense up physically for long periods of time.
  • Digestive problems. These can include losing your appetite, feeling sick, diarrhoea, constipation and bloating.
  • Uncontrollable twitching. This can affect your eyes or mouth, for example.
  • Dizziness or palpitations. Being short of breath, feeling faint, having a rapid heartbeat.
  • Panic attacks. Panic attacks are intense bouts of stress, which can happen suddenly. During a panic attack you can have any of the other symptoms of stress.
  • High blood pressure. Stress can make our blood pressure rise suddenly.
  • Inability to relax. Feeling tense and uptight all the time.
  • Insomnia. Having problems going to sleep or waking up and not being able to go back to sleep
  • Lethargy. Being tired and lacking energy.
  • Skin problems like rashes.
  • Losing interest in sex.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Shaking or trembling.
Emotional symptoms

When we're stressed we often have upsetting feelings or thoughts that we can't control. Emotional symptoms can include things like:
  • Anxiety and fearfulness. Worrying all the time about future or past events. Or how other people behave towards you and what they think.
  • Lack of control. Feeling like a victim, or that you're overwhelmed by negative events or other people's behaviour.
  • Lack of self-confidence.
  • Phobias. Being terrified of situations or things that don't bother other people.
Behavioural symptoms

Behavioural symptoms
When we're stressed, we can start acting in ways that we know are harmful but feel that we can't control our behaviour.
  • Self-medicating. Eating, drinking, smoking, or taking too many drugs to comfort yourself and blot out negative feelings and thoughts.
  • Repetitive behaviours. Clenching and unclenching your fists or jaw, tapping your feet, biting your nails or other behaviours that you can't stop or are unaware of.
  • Feeling irritable. Losing your temper easily.
  • Being easily distracted. Having problems concentrating because you're worrying or upset about something.
  • Being unable to switch off and relax.
Source; Health Info Org