5 Surprising Signs & Symptoms of Stress

Publish Date
Wednesday, 5 November 2014, 9:22AM

Stress can impact you in many ways, not just mentally but physically, and can have a significant negative effect on your body, mind, relationships, happiness, work, and your overall health and well-being. There are some common emotional and mental symptoms of stress, like panic attacks and headaches, but there are also a lot of uncommon symptoms…

 

1. Bizarre and Recurring Dreams

Vivid and bizarre dreams or experiencing the same dreams night after night, could be sign of stress. Whether you enjoy or easily tolerate weird dreams, it’s important to examine any potential reasons behind them. Recurring dreams can take a toll on you mentally–especially if they’re upsetting–but even if they aren’t. Bizarre dreams can make you feel tired and on edge, which ultimately impact other areas of your life, like work and family. If you’ve started dreaming a lot, and if they’re bizarre and / or recurring dreams, take stock of any life changes or added stress to see if there’s a trigger. 

2. Jaw and Tooth Pain

Stress is something many people sweep under the rug and pretend everything is fine. But at night, your subconscious might not keep it at the back of your mind, and you could start grinding your teeth–once you’re asleep, you can’t help what your body does. It’s common to “grind the stress out”, which can cause permanent damage to your teeth, as well as a cause a sore jaw. You could grind your teeth during the day too, but you might not notice it if you’re stressed. If your jaw, gums or mouth are sore, try to analyze how your body is reacting to stress, and whether or not you’re tensing up and clenching your jaw. 

3. Stomachaches and Intestinal Problems

How your stomach feels, digestion and intestines are closely connected to and can be impacted by your emotional and mental state, specifically your level of stress. You might simply feel butterflies and an uneasiness in your stomach, but you could also experience more serious issues, like constant stomachaches, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcers and food allergies. It might be the last thing you want to do when you’re experiencing stomach problems, but getting out and exercising will help your mental state and in turn, your stomach. 

4. Twitching

Muscle twitching, especially around the eyes, is something that you might not realize is connected to your stress level, but it’s actually quite common. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can cause eyelid spasms. While twitching isn’t painful, it can be really annoying and distracting, and could go on for just a few minutes or for several months. If you suffer from spasms and twitching, track when you experience it – you may see a pattern that aligns with your stress level. The good news is, if your eye is twitching from stress, properly managing your stress should completely stop it. 

5. Abdominal Fat

It already seems next to impossible to blast that dreaded belly fat through exercise and healthy living, and stress can add to this difficulty. Chronic stress can cause abdominal fat and make it extremely difficult or impossible to trim it down and get rid of it – unless you decrease and manage your stress better. When you’re stressed out, your body tries to protect itself by releasing adrenaline and cortisol, making you feel hungry. And the hunger and cravings are often for carbs and fat, which go straight to your waistline. It also causes loss of muscle mass, adding to your soft belly.