There’s a very fine line between being worried, stressed and depressed. Although, one of these conditions might lead to the other, the impact and degree of each differs considerably.

A lot of us do not read into the symptoms of stress that our body emits, we mistake it to be fatigue or temporary illness. Here is a list of symptoms common, although not exclusive to stress and which will help you in figuring out whether you are stressed out or not.

• You’d be surprised to know that stress does not just affect your mind, but takes its toll on your body, organs and even your reproductive system. Start by exploring and being attuned to your body, try to communicate and understand the signals your body gives off.
• When you feel your muscles tensing up accompanied with giddiness, chances are you could be stressed about something.
• Aches and pains such as headache, back pain, shoulder stiffness, chest and neck pain all points towards stress coupled up with being physically worn out.
• In women, a lot of time stress could result in late periods, menstrual disorders and abdominal cramps during the time of the month.
• Nervous tics and sweaty palms are common when you are nervous, but if these persist, you might want to get yourself tested for stress.
• Apart from physical symptoms, there are a number of emotional clues that your body puts forward. What you think could say a lot about your attitude towards stress and whether or not you are capable of handling stress.
• If all you see is a bleak future or are constantly plagued with negative thoughts about yourself, your relationships (both personal and professional) people’s perception of you and in general, you could be stressed out and also not being able to tackle it well.
• Self-loathing, inferiority complex or a loss of faith in yourself, over a period of time could be a symptom of stress.
• If you suddenly have started dreading social gatherings or become irritable and snappy at a joke made by a co-worker or friend, you have lost your sense of humor and not being able to see the light side of the situation is one of the major symptoms of negative stress.
• Do you forget birthday, anniversaries and meetings often? Loss of memory and the inability to concentrate points that you’re mentally and emotionally fatigued due to over stressing.
• A lot of people take to binge drinking or eating to combat stress. Both alcohol and food has been proven to provide comfort during adverse situations.
• Occasional smokers might take up smoking on a dangerously high level as the usual rumor goes that smoking can reduces anxiety and stress.
• Rampant and mercurial mood swings are one of the most recognized symptoms of stress. If you can go from sad to angry in a record time, perhaps it’s time to fix an appointment with a doctor?

When you first start understanding symptoms of stress, try to focus what is your current attitude towards dealing with stress. Try to be strong and face your fears, figure out what is causing you to stress over, once you have the cause, a solution isn’t far.

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