A seriously stressed woman

What Stress Signs Are Most Common?

You can probably remember several times in your life that you’ve felt stressed. It’s something that affects everyone, no matter what age. A little stress is said to be good for you. But what about that prolonged, chronic stress that can be taxing on both your mental and physical health? 
Too much stress is unhealthy. Your body can start to react to it in negative, sometimes serious, ways. Before reaching a breaking point, get ahead of your stress by controlling and managing it. The best way to do this is by being aware of the most common signs of stress, so that you recognize when you start to experience them.

Understanding Stress

When you feel threatened by real or imagined situations, your body produces a chemical reaction that causes you to act in a way to avoid harm. This is called “fight-or-flight”, which is considered the stress response. During this reaction, your body protects itself by preparing you for action: your heart rate rises, your breathing quickens, and your muscles tighten.

Most Common Stress Signs

In some cases symptoms can be hard to determine because they may be the product of another underlying condition, so it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about what you’re experiencing. Symptoms will vary depending on the person and can manifest in different ways, but some common signs of stress include:

  •  Headache
  • Aches, pains, and muscle tension
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sex drive
  • Upset stomach
  • Sleep disturbances


  •  Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Irritability or anger
  • Depression


  • Appetite changes
  • Angry outbursts
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Smoking or other tobacco use
  • Avoiding people
Last Updated: June 02, 2016

Have more questions? See more answers from Alot.