The physical symptoms of anxiety and stress can be quite detrimental to one’s health. Unfortunately, many people may be so stressed that they do not realize the extent of it or the impact the stress and anxiety is having on their health. In some cases, the more stress or anxiety an individual experiences the less able they are to recognize it. Quite frequently in these situations the individual may have even become so accustomed to their level of stress, and the physical symptoms it produces, that they feel it is normal. Due to the fact that some people may not be aware of their emotional response to stress and anxiety they may need to rely on physical manifestations to identify it. This makes taking the time to learn about the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety an important step. Tuning into the symptoms of stress and anxiety can help you to identify potential triggers in your life and in turn help you to better manage them and alleviate the stress and anxiety in your life.
It is important to be aware that the physical symptoms of anxiety and stress can vary from one person to the next. Some symptoms may be more serious than others and can even be life threatening. It should be noted that one symptom on its own may not necessarily indicate the presence of stress or anxiety; however, where there are multiple symptoms this is a strong indication there is stress or anxiety present. Some symptoms you experience may be short-term while others may be long-term symptoms. Short-term symptoms include the following:
• Cold hands and feet
• Dry mouth
• Rapid breathing
• Increased heart beat
• Increased sweating
Generally these short term side effects appear when the body is responding to a perceived threat. This is the body’s way of helping you prepare to either stay and fight the threatening situation or flee from it; a response commonly known as fight or flight. While this rush of adrenaline and emotions can be helpful in a truly threatening situation, it can have negative impacts during times when there is no immediate danger.
Over time these physical symptoms can damage your self-confidence, disrupt the quality of your life and reduce the pleasure you get from your work. In addition, when the body is exposed to these physical symptoms over a long period of time your health can actually start to decline. Long term side effects of stress and anxiety include:
• Sexual disorders
• Changes in appetite
• Frequent illness
• Back pain
• Digestive problems
Remember, that one symptom by itself may not necessarily indicate the presence of either short term or long term stress and anxiety. There are other reasons that can result in a single symptom, such as certain medications. The presence of multiple symptoms; however, can indicate a problem. If you notice multiple physical symptoms of anxiety and stress, take heart in knowing that stress and anxiety management techniques can help you to reduce those symptoms and get back to your old self.