Your body has a way of letting you know that things are not ok.
Stress is not just something that manifests itself mentally, but can also produce these physical signs.
Realising you are stressed is not always easy, but it’s also necessary to changing your behaviour and routines to reduce it.
To that end, indy100 has compiled some tell-tale signs of stress, from charities such as Mind, the NHS and other health organisations.
The classic illustration of stress is a person clutching their head, as though their brain is literally overloaded with ‘to do’ lists.
Stress is one possible cause for tension headaches, the most common kind of headache that is less severe than a migraine and can be treated through ordinary pain killers.
Reducing stress can also be a help assuage the effects of hormone headaches in women.
Mental health charity Mind and NHS England, both list sleeping troubles as a possible symptom of stress.
Mind highlights that there is a close relationship between sleep and mental health in general.
Failing to fall asleep, or struggling to remain asleep during the night is a difficult cycle, because feeling stressed about not sleeping can add to the problem.
Ways to make sleeping easier, even with stress, including keeping a regular time of waking up and going to bed, and giving yourself some tech-free time before bed.
Stress can exacerbate existing skin conditions such as eczema, acne, or psoriasis, as well as triggering previously unknown skin conditions altogether.
Dry or flaky skin can also be because you’re not drinking enough water while stressed.
Feeling tired might mean you’re overdoing it on caffeine that will dehydrate you.
If you’re skin has suddenly become blotchy or dry, you might be stressed.
Muscle tension and pain
According to the Sleep Advisor, stress that leads to tense muscles can cause a lot of damage.
Ways to amend this include a gentle massage, stretching, yoga, and, exercise.
Changing unhealthy habits in the rest of your life can help relieve the stress, and undo the tense muscles.
Some stress-eat, and others lose their appetites altogether.
Either way, a sudden change to the appetite can be a sure sign of stress.
According to Harvard Health, overeating has been shown to be caused by stress and the effect it has on your cortisol and insulin levels.
Raising these levels, means you are more likely to crave fat and sugar.
Stress can also cause you to lose interest in sex, or feel unable to enjoy it.
The NHS says loss libido is ‘often linked to relationship issues, stress, or tiredness’.
Healthline reports that stress can also be an indirect cause of erectile dysfunction (ED).
Stress can add to high blood pressure, or execessive alchol consumption, which themselves are physical causes of ED.
However, the most common cause of ED is psychological, such as stress itself as a direct cause.
Where to get help and advice for loss of libido, or physical problems that could be stress related include apps from groups such as the Sexual Advice Association, or a visit to see your GP, or a psychosexual therapist recommended by your GP.