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Warning Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Stress

The most dangerous thing about stress is how easily it can creep up on you. You get used to it. It starts to feel familiar Ė even normal. You donít notice how much itís affecting you, even as it takes a heavy toll. 

Your body cannot defend itself against the damage that emotional stress quietly creates over time. It pays a heavy physiological price for every moment that you feel anxious, tense, frustrated, and angry.

Cognitive Symptoms


  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying


Emotional Symptoms


  • Moodiness
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness


Physical Symptoms


  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds


Behavioral Symptoms


  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)


The more signs and symptoms you notice in yourself, the closer you may be stress overloaded.

Do not ignore these signs.