What Are The Physiological Symptoms Of Stress?

Stress is an emotional reaction that signals our incapability to manage or control a situation. We feel overwhelmed or under tremendous pressure and are uncertain about the future. Usual causes of stress include financial problems, work, relationships, family life planning, and resources. Stress affects our minds, but it also has an impact on our bodies. That’s why it’s essential to identify the physiological symptoms of stress. But before we do that, let’s look at the different kinds of stress.

Types Of Stress

The first type of stress is acute stress, the healthiest response to any situation we face. For example, an upcoming deadline at work produces a feeling of acute stress that reminds us to work.

Episodic acute stress happens when a person is exposed to situations of acute stress repeatedly. This stress is typical for highly demanding professions such as healthcare workers. The effects of this repeated exposure come together and gradually build up mental stress that can lead to burnout or other psychological and physical health complications.

Chronic stress is when the stress never ends. It can occur when one is constantly exposed to threatening situations. For instance, living in a neighborhood with a high crime rate.

Physiological Symptoms In Different Kinds Of Stress

Stress puts you in a fight or flight mode. Blood is directed away from your brain and toward muscles, and senses are sharpened for anticipated threats. Your pupils dilate, and your heart rate increases. You may breathe fast and heavily or start sweating (cold sweats are sweating that happens despite the body temperature being cold). Your sleep cycle is also affected leading to further physical complications.

Episodic acute stress is correlated with muscle tension, migraines, and high blood pressure. Your body doesn’t get the chance to relax, and you always feel “on edge.” In this situation, you may develop muscle tension and migraines.

Chronic stress can lead to weight gain as you start eating more to compensate for pressure. It can also lead to insomnia, panic attacks, and emotional fatigue(feeling tired most of the time).

Read more: Signs of burnout

How To Reduce Stress

Now that we’ve gone through the physiological symptoms of stress let us look at how to de-stress or relieve our anxieties. Following are some steps you can implement to reduce stress today.

Firstly, you can practice any exercise or physical activity. These practices include yoga, calisthenics, aerobic exercise, running, etc. You can also focus on improving sleep quality by setting up a sleep schedule to regulate the same.

Or you can start journaling, a habit that involves more play than work and might be just what you need to reduce your stress in a day. This practice allows you to write about different things and explore your creative side. For those who like expressing their artistic side, journaling can act as an aid to art therapy.

If your symptoms get out of control, unbearable, or make functioning typically tricky, you should opt for a treatment plan with a licensed professional.

Read more: Anxiety-reducing exercises to help you calm down


Stress is an emotional reaction to threatening or overwhelming conditions. The physiological symptoms of stress include a faster heart rate, hypertension, muscle tension, heavy breathing, and cold sweating. These signs can help you better identify stress in yourself and others, making it easier to take action when needed. To reduce stress, you can start taking out time for self-care, build supportive relationships, exercise regularly, or, most importantly, opt for therapy. Therapy can help you make sense of and easily navigate overwhelming problems in your life. On that note, here is a list of the five best affordable online therapy platforms for quality care.

For more information about stress and related mental health conditions, subscribe to Your Mental Health Pal.

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *