Stress has a significant influence, which may come as a surprise to you. Without it, a tense or risky circumstance can end fatally. In reality, its purpose is to keep you safe and contribute to your survival. When there is danger, a concatenation of hormones is released that prepare you to respond, and this is what triggers the "fight or flight" response. Breathing and heart rate increase, making you more aware and prepared for whatever comes next. Although life-threatening situations are rare nowadays, the body interprets some circumstances as potentially dangerous and triggers the stress response in both cases.
But why do two people interpret the same circumstances differently? One may feel overwhelmed while the other may feel freezing cold. And why does the same issue make you feel overwhelmed one day and totally indifferent the next?
What is going on inside you and what you think you can handle in the situation you find yourself in will determine the answer. This response is determined by a number of variables:
- Genetic influences.
- Early life experiences.
- Similar circumstances or events in the past.
- Emotional strength.
- Your current life circumstances, including such things as how well rested you are, when you get your period, and how your day is going.
- Symptoms and signs of stress.
You may not even realize that pain in your right shoulder or an episode of irritable bowel syndrome is directly related to stress. You may, in fact, be in physical pain. Your doctor won't believe the problem is in your brain, but improving your mental health is the first step to finding a solution. Stress symptoms are simply your body's way of letting you know that you are under pressure; they are not a sign of weakness.
Listed below are some mental and physical signs and symptoms of stress:
Psychological signs of stress
- Inability to pay attention.
- Agitated thinking.
- Memory problems.
- Feeling anxious.
- Lack of self-confidence.
Physical signs of stress
- Palpitations: "louder", "faster" or occasionally erratic heartbeat.
- Stiff neck.
- Weight gain or loss, often accompanied by changes in appetite.
- Elevation of blood pressure.
- Abdominal pain, occasionally accompanied by diarrhea or constipation.
- Nausea, esophageal reflux and indigestion.
- Contractions of muscles, such as shoulder or neck muscles.
- Skin rashes, eczema or psoriasis are examples of skin conditions.