When it comes to diagnosing stress, there are a few classic signs to look for, including rapid heartbeat, tension headache, or heightened mood swings. However, there are many other physical symptoms of stress – many of which may not be common knowledge to the average person. Here are three lesser-known symptoms of stress to look out for in yourself and loved ones.
Your teeth and jaw hurt.
Many of us take our stress out on our teeth and jaws. In fact, excessive teeth clenching is associated with stress and neuroticism, or a condition assigned to people who experience moodiness in addition to anxiety, worry, fear, anger, frustration, envy, jealousy, guilt, depressed mood, and loneliness. Teeth grinding can result in headaches, jaw pain, facial soreness, and overall tooth sensitivity. If you continue to do it long enough, you could end up with flattened, chipped, or loose teeth. Keep up with regular dental visits to ensure that your stress isn’t permanently damaging your smile. You can also consider purchasing a mouth guard to wear while sleeping when most tooth grinding occurs.
Your body is experiencing aches and pains.
Stress-related pain doesn’t just happen in your mouth and jaw area. If you’ve ever experienced full-body pain after a particularly stressful day or a week, you know first-hand the physical effects stress can have on your body. Headaches, lower back pain, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal symptoms, like an upset stomach, are very common physical manifestations of stress. You can experience these all at once, one at a time, or even experience other physical ailments. If you confront strange physical sensations, conduct stress-relieving measures, and see if you feel better. If not, consider calling a doctor.
You can't seem to get enough rest.
Ever feel like your exhaustion is linked to your stress levels? It’s not in your head – there's a scientifically proven link between stress and sleep. According to the American Psychological Association, 32 percent of people experiencing stress report fatigue as a symptom. It’s important to note that tiredness doesn’t have to be merely physical. You can also experience emotional and cognitive exhaustion. When stress-related exhaustion occurs, go ahead and treat yourself to a nap, when possible. But, if you notice that you’re always stressed out and can’t maintain a normal sleep schedule, you might want to seek help from a medical professional.
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