Symptoms of Stress

Some early warning signs

The following are lists of the common physical, mental, behavioural and emotional symptoms of stress. As personal stress increases, more of these symptoms are likely to become apparent. By noticing how many of these items you are currently experiencing, either continuously or from time to time, you can obtain an early warning of an increase in stress. Even though some of the symptoms may have a clear physical cause, count them nevertheless, for their occurrence is still likely to be an indirect consequence of stress.

Physical signs Behavioural signs
Headaches Unsociability
Indigestion Restlessness
Palpitations (throbbing heart) Loss of appetite or overeating
Breathlessness Loss of interest in sex, or overuse
Nausea (feeling sick) Disturbed sleep or insomnia
Muscle twitches Drinking more alcohol
Tiredness Smoking more
Vague aches and pains Taking work home more
Skin irritations or rashes Too busy to relax
Susceptibility to allergies Not looking after oneself
Excessive sweating Lying
Clenched fists or jaw Anti-social behaviour
Fainting Unable to unwind
Frequent colds, flu or other infections Low productivity
Recurrence of previous illnesses Accident prone
Constipation or diarrhoea Bad driving
Rapid weight gain or loss Impaired speech
  Voice tremor
Mental signs Poor time management
Indecision Withdrawing from supportive relationships
Memory failing  
Loss of concentration, easily distracted Emotional signs
Tunnel vision Irritability
Bad dreams or nightmares More suspicious
Worrying More gloomy, depressed
Muddled thinking More fussy
Making mistakes Feeling tense
Less intuitive Drained, no enthusiasm
Less sensitive Under attack
Persistent negative thoughts Cynical, inappropriate humour
Impaired judgement Alienated
More short-term thinking Feeling nervous, apprehensive, anxious
Hasty decisions Feeling of pointlessnesss
  Loss of confidence
  Less satisfaction in life
  Reduced self-esteem
  Job dissatisfaction