“The seemingly innocent but warning signs of stress
could be as individualized as a fingerprint both in
severity and duration, hence because of the multi-
faceted nature of its spectrum, the signs must not
be ignored….Dr Andrew Okpetu”
We all respond to different stressors in varying way that are circumstance,time,region  biology or climate-dependent.Hence,our stress encounter may result in a wide spectrum of psychological,physical and behavioural symptoms which may not necessarily indicate the presence illness but rather an adaptive mechanism brought about by the body`s flight-fight-fright response.This also results in spontaneous burst of energy,speed alertness and heart rate as a threat-coping measure.
While stress activates the sympathetic   system thereby increasing the levels of stress hormones(cortisol,adrenaline,GH),relaxation stimulates the parasympathetic system which results in decrease in the levels of stress hormones in the blood.
Common physical signs and
symptoms of stress:
  • Headaches                          Palpitations
  • Anxious                               Premenstrual syndrome
  • Blaming others                 Tingling sensation
  • Cynical                                 Cluster headache
  • Increased heart rate       Breathlessness
  • Urinary hesitancy            Sleeping difficulties
  • Dizziness                               Diarrhoea/constipation
  • Dry mouth                           Excess perspiration
  • Dysponesis                          Chest/jaw/neck tightness
  • Increased cold/flu
  • Hyperventillating
  • Churning stomach
  • Impotence
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Fatigue                                                                                                                                      
 Emotional signs and
symptoms of stress:
  • Depression                                              Jealousy
  • Fussiness                                                  Narrowed focus                                             Hostile                                                      Catastrophising
  • Hypercritical of self                             Experience opportunities
  • Anxiety                                                     Withdrawal
  • Fear                                                            Obsessive rumination
  • Irritability                                                Self-deprecation
  • Hopelessness                                           Nightmares
  • Nervousness                                            Diminished initiation
  • Impatience                                               Tendency to cry
  • Feeling of failure                                     Over alertness
  • Lack of concentration                          Mind in a whirl
  • Excess guilt                                               Tense
  • Low self esteem                                       Snappy
  • Mood swings
  • Negativity
  • Pessimism
  • Worring a lot
  • Frowning
  • Lethargy
 Behavioural signs and
symptoms of stress:
  • Accident prone                                               Poor eye contact
  • Nail biting                                                          Poor time management
  • An eye tic                                                           Gambling
  • Obsessive dieting                                            Increased smoking
  • Pacing the floor                                                Increased caffiene
  • Teeth grinding                                                   Frowning
  • Difficulty relaxing                                            Walking fast
  • Agitation                                                              Talking fast
  • Outburst of anger                                              Substance abuse
  • Making mistakes                                                Eating fast
  • Eating too much/ too little.
Work-related signs and
symptoms of stress:
  • Inefficiency                                                      Inablility to delegate
  • Persistent lateness                                         Alcohol at lunch time
  • Absenteeism                                                     Boredom
  • Drop in productivity                                     Frustration
  • Procrastination                                                Poor communication


Perception and communication are fundamental building blocks to combating stress. Your outlook and how you perceive the world can have profound effect on your stress coping mechanisms. Pay attention to what you say and how you say them. Are negative words dominating your self-talk? That might be wake-up call to seek profesional counselling and help.

When you constantly find yourself in a short fuse and irritated by very small things, it’s time to see your Doctor or Psychologist before it becomes contagious with spiralling effects on your loved ones.