Stress Warning Signs

Cognitive Symptoms
Memory problems
Indecisiveness
Inability to concentrate
Trouble thinking clearly
Poor judgment
Seeing only the negative
Anxious or racing thoughts
Constant worrying
Loss of objectivity
Fearful anticipation

Emotional Symptoms

Moodiness
Agitation
Restlessness
Short temper
Irritability, impatience
Inability to relax
Feeling tense and “on edge”
Feeling overwhelmed
Sense of loneliness and isolation
Depression or general unhappiness

Physical Symptoms

Headaches or backaches
Muscle tension and stiff ness
Diarrhea or constipation
Nausea, dizziness
Insomnia
Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
Weight gain or loss
Skin breakouts (hives, eczema)
Loss of sex drive
Frequent colds

Behavioral Symptoms

Eating more or less than normal
Sleeping too much or too little
Isolating yourself from others
Procrastination, neglecting responsibilities
Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
Nervous habits (e.g., nail biting, pacing)
Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
Overdoing activities (e.g., exercising, shopping)
Overreacting to unexpected problems
Picking fights with others


Keep in mind that the signs and symptoms of stress can also be caused by other psychological and medical problems. If you’re experiencing any of the warning signs of stress, it’s important to see a doctor for a full evaluation. Your doctor can help you determine whether or not your symptoms are stress-related.