Stress is a natural response to events that threaten or distress us. It originates from primative reflexes that were designed to protect us in hostile environments. Although some stress in our daily lives can be helpful by increasing awareness, energy and alertness, continued high levels can be detrimental to both physical and mental welfare. Symptoms vary hugely between different individuals but can include emotional, psychological, physical and behavioral effects. Common emotional and psychological symptoms include memory problems, inability to concentrate, anxiety, irritability, agitation, inability to relax , feeling overwhelmed or depression. Physically you may experience aches and pains, nausea or dizziness or regular bouts of illness. Changes in eating or sleeping patterns, increasing use of alcohol, cigarettes or drugs and nervous habits such as nail biting are also common signs of stress.
Stress is generally described as the inability of a person (or animal) to adapt adequately to mental, emotional or physical demands. Symptoms of stress can be broken into 4 areas: Cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and biological. Cognitive signs of stress include worry, racing thoughts, agitation, or inability to relax. Similarly emotional reactions may include moodiness, depression, or anger. Behavioral responses can include nail-biting, pacing, increased alcohol consumption, reduced or increased appetite, or crying. Biological symptoms include racing heart, sweat, chest pains, nausea, diarrhea, acne, or body aches.