Stress: Eight Signs It’s Making You Physically Sick

You don’t need an expert to tell you that stress is no fun. It can give you a headache, make you lose sleep, and just make everything seem less fun. It’s awful!
Stress is also part of life though. It happens at home, at work, with friends, and with loved ones. At any given moment, there’s probably something on your mind. It just happens when you’re, well, a person!
But just because it’s part of life doesn’t mean that you should just accept high stress levels.
While stress has the benefits of motivating and even sometimes inspiring us, too much stress is not okay. Ever.
Too much stress can not only make you absolutely miserable, but it can actually have serious physical repercussions, as well.
After all, your mind and body are linked and both require energy and nourishment. When one is being drained, the other suffers, too!
If you notice any of the below symptoms in yourself or in someone you know, maybe it’s time to think about taking a little break and reassessing things. Even just taking one day to relax and recharge can make a world of difference and help you feel a little more in control of your life.
Do you experience any of the stress signs below? Let us know in the comments — and as always, be sure to speak to your doctor if you experience these symptoms frequently!
Thumbnail Photo: Youtube

How Does Stress Affect Your Body?

How Does Stress Affect Your Body?
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings
A lot of people think they can just power through stress, and that because it’s mental rather than physical, it’s not “real.” But it is!
Knowing how to manage your stress is an important life skill, but when you start to feel physically and emotionally overwhelmed by stress, it’s time to take a break.
But sometimes, you’re so wrapped up in things that you don’t even notice how stressed you really are.
Below are 8 signs your body might be sending you if the stress levels are too high.
Be sure to watch out for these signs, and speak to your doctor if you experience them frequently!

Stress Sign #1: Weight Fluctuation

Stress Sign #1: Weight Fluctuation
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings
When you’re stressed, your body starts releasing a hormone called cortisol, which changes the way you process sugar, as well as your metabolism.
It affects people differently, so while some may gain weight, others may lose it.
Stress can also affect our appetites and cause both over- and undereating, which will affect your weight, too.
If you notice a very sudden change in your weight, it may be stress related.

Stress Sign #2: Frequent Headaches

Stress Sign #2: Frequent Headaches
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings
A constant headache or frequent headaches are one of the most common signs of stress.
Headaches happen when your stressed body releases various chemicals, which cause changes in the nerves and blood vessels in the brain, bringing on pain.
If you’re stressed, your muscles will likely be tense, too, which will also cause headaches.

Stress Sign #3: Mysterious Stomachaches

Stress Sign #3: Mysterious Stomachaches
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings
We’ve all felt that tight, heavy, sick feeling in the pit of our stomach when things aren’t going well.
But it’s not all in our heads at all.
Stress causes food to pass through your stomach more slowly, which can lead to cramping, bloating, gas, and general discomfort.
Other times, a stressed body will produce more stomach acid, leading to heartburn.

Stress Sign #4: Frequent Colds

Stress Sign #4: Frequent Colds
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings
Being stressed leads to being sick, which can make you even more stressed. It’s a vicious cycle, and it starts when your immune system weakens under stress.
Studies have shown that people dealing with stressful situations were twice as likely to get sick as those who were not.
Everyone gets a cold sometimes, but if you notice you’ve been battling colds for a long time, it could be linked to ongoing stress.

Stress Sign #5: Skin Breakouts

Stress Sign #5: Skin Breakouts
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings
You look in the mirror and yikes: There’s a blemish on your chin! You thought you were done with this annoying stage of your life when you were 15!
When your body is stressed, it tries to compensate by flooding you with hormones. Remember how stressful being a teenager felt? Yep, that was why.
Hormones like cortisol cause your skin to produce more oil, which in turn can lead to breakouts no matter your age.

Stress Sign #6: Brain Fog

Stress Sign #6: Brain Fog
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings
Have you noticed a general dull, fuzzy feeling? Do you find yourself reading the same passages over and over, feeling like you’re missing something? Are you feeling forgetful or easily distracted?
Don’t worry. It’s not permanent.
It is, though, a sign of an overworked, overtired brain that’s just not processing information as well as it should be.
Just like muscles, your brain needs a break now and then.

Stress Sign #7: Rashes And Hives

Stress Sign #7: Rashes And Hives
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings
A sudden outbreak of itchy red bumps in weird places makes us think of bug bites or allergies, but sometimes, it’s neither of those — kind of.
When you’re under a lot of stress, your immune system goes haywire. While it weakens enough to let in cold-causing viruses, it can also send your body a flood of histamine.
Too much histamine and, like with allergies, you see a reaction in the form of a rash.
A weakened immune system can also make your skin more sensitive to soaps, cosmetics, and detergents.

Stress Sign #8: Sudden Hair Loss

Stress Sign #8: Sudden Hair Loss
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings
A few strands of hair on the brush is normal — but if you find yourself pulling out more than normal, it could be a signal that your body is out of whack due to stress.
Stress causes hair follicles to enter a “rest” phase, and in the following weeks or months, they fall out.
Hair loss can also happen when your immune system attacks the follicles.

What Can I Do About My Stress?

What Can I Do About My Stress?
Tayra Lucero for LittleThings
Too much stress is terrible for your health, and, if not kept in check, can lead to longterm health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease.
But the good news is that by allowing yourself to recognize stress and take a break from it, you can reduce your stress levels and stay healthy both physically and mentally.
Talk to your doctor first, just to rule out any other complications, then consider making a few lifestyle changes to bring those stress levels down.
Evening walks, a private journal, calling a loved one, and even small breathing exercises can go a long way when lowering stress.
If you see any of these signs, it means your body is telling you to slow down, take a deep breath, and reorganize a little.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you find that things are too overwhelming to handle on your own!
And as always, be sure to speak to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms frequently. They could be signs of another underlying medical cause.
SHARE these important warning signs with everyone — because we all have stress!