Stress can be both physical and mental. You may feel physical stress which is the result of too much to do, not enough sleep, a poor diet or the effects of an illness. Stress can also be mental: when you worry about money, a loved one’s illness, retirement, or experience an emotionally devastating event, such as the death of a spouse or being fired from work.

However, much of our stress comes from less dramatic everyday responsibilities. Obligations and pressures which are both physical and mental are not always obvious to us. In response to these daily strains your body automatically increases blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, metabolism, and blood flow to your muscles. This response is intended to help your body react quickly and effectively to a high-pressure situation.

However, when you are constantly reacting to stressful situations without making adjustments to counter the effects, you will feel stress which can threaten your health and well-being. It's essential to understand that external events, no matter how you perceive those events, may cause stress. Stress often accompanies the feeling of “being out of control.”

What are the symptoms of Stress?

  • Physical symptoms can include heart pounding, headaches, sweaty palms, indigestion, skin breakouts, shortness of breath, cold hands, sleeplessness or oversleeping, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and physical pain
  • Emotional symptoms can include moodiness, irritability, anxiety, humorlessness, abrasive or hostile behavior, nervousness and extreme emotional sensitivity
  • Mental symptoms can include forgetfullness, loss of concentration, poor judgment, disorganization, confusion, lack of interest in almost everything and negative thoughts or “self-talk”