Stress arises when we perceive that we are not able to cope with the circumstances that we are facing or the demands that are being placed upon us.
Stress is essentially a subjective experience, varying for each of us. Therefore, whatever caused me to react like I am in the image above may not affect you in the slightest, whilst whatever sends you into a spin might be something I can take easily in my stride.
Because of this subjectivity, therefore, the signs or symptoms of stress are largely subjective too. We can each be affected by stress in different ways.
Nevertheless, it is worth looking at some of the common signs because if you have never really suffered from stress before you may well not be aware that certain reactions you are having could be stress related.
Types of stress symptoms
Symptoms of stress can usefully be divided into four categories:
- Physical symptoms – bodily reactions
- Emotional symptoms – what you are feeling
- Behavioural symptoms – what you are doing
- Psychological symptoms – what you are thinking
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