What are the signs of stress?

'Stress' – is the term used to describe the physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioural responses to events that are appraised as threatening or challenging.

by Elia Strange

sign slow wales

Would it be nice if we had stress only twice a year. Then we could be really well prepared for it. For example, we could take a day off work, arrange a trip to the cinema or for a meal with friends, or just lay all day on the sofa with some nice snacks and the TV on. Yeah… I can dream sometimes… Oh well, back to reality.

Have a look at the signs of stress below and see if you are experiencing any of them at the moment. Also, have a look what stage of stress you are in too, it’s very important. I’ll explain everything after you have looked at all the signs of stress and see how many of these you are currently experiencing (otherwise you probably wouldn’t be reading this article).

Signs of STAGE 1 stress:

A) You walk faster than usual

B) You talk and laugh more readily

C) You think, decide and act much faster

D) You eat faster – do not take a lunch-time break, but perhaps grab a bar of chocolate

E) You drink faster – and leave many empty cups of tea/coffee

F) You feel under pressure because of deadlines

G) You feel as if you are being driven (running at full speed)

Ok, how many did you find? Did it make you worried?

What does it mean?

Well, if you see 4-5 signs of stress in stage 1 – this is not a lot to worry about if you've been experiencing these signs for the last few days or a couple of weeks. No more than that. If this is the case, then short-term stage 1 stress is not too bad.

In fact, some psychologists think it’s actually good for you. Why? Because you can do more in a shorter period of time than it would usually take you.

Under this amount of stress, you might be actually more motivated to work, be more productive, have clearer and sharper thinking, and you might have the feeling that “you are going at the full throttle, though you are really enjoying it”.

If however, you realise that you don’t like this feeling anymore (as it’s more stressing you out than giving you the joy of life), then it might mean that you are actually moving towards stage 2 stress (if you are not there already!).

Signs of STAGE 2 stress:

A) Indulging in comfort tricks, such as food, chocolate, alcohol, and cigarettes

B) Feeling driven

C) Time pressures

D) Tiredness and fatigue. Take a long time to go to sleep and wake up earlier than usual

E) Memory – beginning to let you down

F) Ill health: cramps, legs twitching,particularly at night,stomach upsets, headaches, migraines

G) Bouts of irritation become the norm

H) Flare-ups of existing health problems

I) Over reaction to every minor difficulty

J) Sometimes, people can be driven to mania – everything done at top speed

What does it mean?

Stage 2, unfortunately, is not good for you. At all. All the comfort foods, drinks and other habits (e.g. smoking) are ruining your health (because you are indulging them much more than usual). Your irritation bouts are testing the limits of your most patient family members and your colleagues. And if you are not struggling to get a good night sleep yet, well, it’s leading there pretty rapidly.

However, if you are having sleep problems, then have a look at my page on Stress and Sleep, where you can find some professional advice on how to get a good night sleep.

Here is the link: Stress and Sleep (Home Page)

...or if you want to jump straight to: How to get a good night sleep

Stage 2 is the alarm stage. You need to take some measures to reduce your stress levels ASAP. If you can take a day off, do it. If you can watch more feel-good movies throughout the week, then watch them. Basically, do anything to make yourself feel good and relaxed. You can have a look at my other articles on how to reduce stress and what to do when you are stressed out.

How to reduce your stress instantly

What to do when you are stressed

Signs of STAGE 3 stress

A) Difficulty breathing

B) Recurrent headaches

C) Ringing in the ears or frequent head noises

D) Frequent use of antacids or other self-prescribed drugs

E) Vomiting and nausea

F) Palpitations and chest pain

G) Frequent heartburn, stomach cramps, diarrhea, inability to swallow

H) Sleep disturbances

I) Trembling under any extra pressure, leg cramps or pain, and twitching in limbs

J) Cardiac and rhythm disturbances

K) Feeling that you may pass out

L) Getting any illness that is going around

M) Profuse sweating

What does it mean?

If you feel that you are in stage 3, this means that the situation (or your job, relationships, house, and so on) is now making you ill. And if this is not a warning bell for you, then I don’t know what else would be. You need to consider taking time off or away from the situation that is causing you to have this level of stress. Re-evaluate your life priorities! Otherwise you might end up in hospital pretty soon.

Have a look at my other articles to get some ideas on how to reduce your stress level.

7 main reasons for our unhappiness

How to solve a problem quickly

Stop your irrational thoughts in 6 steps

How to be happy in this "unhappy" world

...or go to the archives of all articles:


Archives (Page 2)

...or go back to our Home Page:

Home Page (Coping with Stress)

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