In literal terms, stress is the state of emotional or mental strain, pressure, or tension that result from difficulties, adverse situations, or extremely demanding circumstances. However, the very nature of stress is very subjective. What is an adverse situation to one person may not even phase another. What one person finds to be an extremely demanding circumstance would barely warrant a second thought to another. More often, the term is used to describe the set of symptoms that are caused by stress and those symptoms can be as varied as the people who experience them.
Symptoms of Stress
Stress symptoms can affect the entire body, both physically and mentally. They include:
• Sleep problems
• Muscle tension
• Lower back pain
• Gastrointestinal problems
• Lack of motivation
• Chest pain
• Feelings of being overwhelmed
• Decrease or increase in sex drive
• Inability to focus
• Undereating or overeating
Stress Symptoms and Your Health
Technically speaking, stress itself does not have a negative impact on health. Different people experience different symptoms, and it is a combination of the stress symptoms and how the person handles those symptoms that adversely affect health.
Ultimately, stress symptoms can lead to some very serious conditions including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and even certain cancers. Psychologically, it can lead to social withdrawal and social phobias. It is also often directly linked to alcohol and drug abuse.