From previous parts you can conclude that stress can have a large influence on your life. Consequences of stress include certain symptoms stress turning up. These symptoms stress can become more intense when the amount of stress you experience increases.
To become aware of your stress level and to be able to recognize stress early on, you can read about the symptoms stress here. These symptoms stress have been divided up into 3 categories: physical symptoms stress, psychological symptoms stress, and cognitive symptoms stress.
Physical symptoms stress
When experiencing stress and symptoms stress, it can be so that you experience a constant fatigue. Even if you try to sleep, you remain tired. Because of the constant stress, you exhaust your mind and body, meaning it needs a lot of rest. You will therefore need to sleep much more than usual in order to reduce the symptoms stress. Another symptom of stress however, is tat you find it more difficult to sleep, meaning you sleep less as a consequence.
Higher chances of pain and being ill
Stress exhausts your body. because of this exhaustion, you can become more vulnerable to diseases, as well as pain. Stress namely affects your immune system, meaning you fall ill more quickly. You thus become weaker as a result of symptoms stress. You can also often suffer from headache or stomach aches because of the constant exhaustion of your body.
Stress keeps you busy all the time. It does not only make sure that your body is in a constant ready state, but symptoms stress will also cause stress to affect your thoughts. You will find that it becomes increasingly difficult to shut your thoughts down. So both your mind and your body go into overdrive due to symptoms stress, which can cause sleeping issues. With problems sleeping we mean both issues falling asleep as well as sleeping through the night.
Issues with food
If you experience symptoms stress, it can be so that you experience stomach aches often, or that you have the feeling that your stomach is tied in a knot. Your body will respond to theses symptoms stress by causing sensitivity. This can make it so that you start eating less, because eating is no longer a pleasant action due to the sensitivity of your stomach. Symptoms stress furthermore also influence the digestion of your food. It can be so that the digestion of your food does not go as smoothly as it used to, due to symptoms stress.
Just like the initial physical reaction to stress, you will generally suffer from heart palpitations. The chemical reaction to stress namely causes an increased heart rate, which can lead to heart palpitation in long-term stress. Your body is constantly preparing itself for danger, by keeping your body ready for action at all times. Except for heart palpitations, tensed muscles and wide pupils are other examples of consequences of the chemical stress response.
It often is so that people, who experience symptoms stress, try to relieve pressure by using addictive substances. For example, the smoking of a cigarette gives you the feeling that you escape from stress for a while and that your stress levels go down. Sometimes people go one step further and try addictive substances such as marijuana, drugs, or alcohol, hoping to reduce the feelings and symptoms stress. The opposite happens, however: these addictions often cause them even more stress.
Psychological symptoms stress
Constant feeling of tension
Because of the chemical stress reaction, both your body and mind are tense during a long period of time. If you suffer often from symptoms stress, it can be so that you find yourself in a constant tense atmosphere. You cannot calm down, which leads to exhaustion and fatigue. Unfortunately, symptoms stress will also make it so that you feel tense when it is time to fall asleep, meaning your fatigue builds up. Furthermore, it is also difficult to find your psychological rest, because your mind continuously is busy. You constantly are thinking and you exhaust your brain. After a while this can have severe consequences, such as a burnout.
Because you are overworked, it often is difficult to remain calm and to react friendly. If stress and symptoms stress reach a peak, you might even start yelling at a loved one, because you no longer know how to deal with the situation. In many cases, irritability is triggered by a question or conversation, which wants to make you think. Something as simple as 'How was your day?' can be too much because it means you have to think and tell.
Crying and/or feeling down
Because people with constant symptoms stress often do not really know what to do or feel unhappy because of the constant stress, they cry more often. Because of the continuous exhaustion, it can be so that people feel down. In extreme cases of long-term stress, it can even be so that you develop a depression as a result of the exhaustion.
Enjoying life less or not at all
Because of the fatigue and eventual crying fits, it can seem like you have lost your happiness and enjoyment of life. You are constantly under stress and when you have a free moment, you would rather not do anything at all. However, you will in many cases be unable to stop your brain and continue thinking. In those moments, fun times with loved ones can just pass you by because you feel exhausted and somber. You do try to find rest or to actively do fun things, but it can be so that the stress and the symptoms stress ask too much of you after a while.
If you are dealing with stress and symptoms stress, it often occurs that people develop a reduced self-image. Because of the constant stress you will have issues with the work which you have to do. This can create a feeling of ignorance, because you used to be able to handle this amount of work in the past. Furthermore you might be having more fights with other people because you are more frustrated, meaning you cannot always stay calm. Stress and symptoms stress can thus also affect your relationships. All of this can cause the feeling that 'you are not worth anything'.
You no longer have the energy to actively do things, because the stress and symptoms stress ask so much of you. It can be so that this means that you prefer to be alone when you are not working. Social isolation often occurs in excessive stress and can make it so that your somber feelings become even stronger.
Cognitive symptoms stress
Increased amount of mistakes and reduced levels of performance
After a while you will notice that the symptoms stress ask so much of you that you start to make more mistakes. Because of the constant preoccupation with stress, you become so exhausted that you no longer get as much done as you did in the past, and that there also are more mistakes in your work. This of course does not improve your self-image, meaning a vicious cycle of symptoms stress develops.
Because you are constantly thinking about stress, it will often be difficult to think about other things, too. You are namely preoccupied with everything that you still have left to do, which causes your motivation to suffer. Because of these thoughts, you often pay less attention to what you are doing. The fatigue, too, makes it so that you find it more difficult to focus.
Except for issues concentrating, it also is relatively normal to experience memory issues after long-term stress. Symptoms stress namely make it so that too much cortisol is produced, which means that some parts of the brain are overworked and become less receptive. This can lead to eventual problems if you try to recall things from memory.
Stress and symptoms stress can preoccupy you in excessive stress. Your brain and thoughts can go into overdrive, which makes it difficult to find a solution. If you keep thinking about the same thing over and over again without being able to find a solution, we call this worrying. Worrying is closely linked to other symptoms stress, meaning that one symptom can worsen another.
Because your self-image often is lowered by experiencing symptoms stress and you often keep worrying about the same issues again and again, it can also be so that you experience indecisiveness. You no longer really dare to take important decisions and are unsure about what would be best to do.
Test your symptoms stress!
Would you like to know which symptoms stress you experience? Then take our free stress test here!