The Most Difficult Emotional Symptoms Of Stress

Chronic stress often manifests as intense physical sensations, such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, heart burn or acid reflux, rapid breathing (hyperventilation), and headaches. But chronic stress also engenders emotional problems in many. Physical stress signals may seem extreme, but oftentimes, nothing can feel more debilitating than the emotional symptoms of stress. One common feeling is that of being stuck, and that the sufferer cannot change her life for the better. In these instances of extreme emotional stress, the sufferer may experience primary physiological symptoms and secondary emotional symptoms in reaction to her stress.

emotional symptoms of stress
It’s helpful to recognize the symptoms of emotional stress, which may be more subtle than the physical symptoms of stress.

Primary Physiological Symptoms

According to the American Psychological Association, the hypothalamus — a gland in the brain that links the nervous system to the endocrine (hormonal) system — makes the adrenal glands above the kidneys produce cortisol and adrenaline (epinephrine). The increase in these two stress hormones gives the body the energy it needs to deal with situations which feel overwhelming.

Secondary Emotional Symptoms 

1) Overeating. Often referred to as emotional eating, because the consumption of carbohydrates promotes the production of calming serotonin in the brain, this type of eating must be addressed at foundational level. A health coach can guide you through an in-depth, emotion-based search for the reasons you reach for food as a quick fix.

2) Depression. The loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, chronic fatigue, muscle aches, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances are common signs of depression.

3) Anxiety. According to the UK’s National Health Services, anxiety is “a feeling of unease that can range from mild to severe and can include feelings of worry and fear.” Overwhelming anxiety is the result of genetic predisposition and/or chronic stress, and can bring on uncomfortable bodily symptoms like nausea, sweating, trembling, and the sensation of heart irregularity, or palpitations.

4) Irritability and Anger. A person under the weight of entrapment — who has little or no say-so in her job or in her most intimate relationships — may be stuffing away her feelings continuously. Finally, when her stress level reaches a point at which feelings can no longer be disregarded, they spill out, often at inappropriate times, and to persons unconnected to the entrapment, as irritability and anger.

5) Isolation. Those who constantly feel trapped, depressed, and anxious no longer have trust in the world, or in its people. Naturally, those who suffer from depression and anxiety often withdraw from people and those in their social circles.

If you have been experiencing these five emotional symptoms of stress over weeks, or months, please don’t delay. Contact me for holistic healing strategies.

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