Signs of Stress

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Topic Overview

The signs of stress can be physical or mental. Some people call this "storing" stress in the body (physical) or in the mind (mental).

Common physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Headache.
  • Stiff neck and/or tight shoulders.
  • Backache.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Sweating and sweaty palms.
  • Upset stomach, nausea, or diarrhea.

You also may notice signs of stress in your thinking, behavior, or mood. You may:

  • Become irritable and intolerant of even minor disturbances.
  • Feel irritated or frustrated, lose your temper more often, and yell at others for no reason.
  • Feel jumpy or exhausted all the time.
  • Find it hard to concentrate or focus on tasks.
  • Worry too much about insignificant things.
  • Doubt your ability to do things.
  • Imagine negative, worrisome, or terrifying scenes.
  • Feel you are missing opportunities because you cannot act quickly.


ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer Steven Locke, MD - Psychiatry

Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

Current as of: November 14, 2014