15 Weird Ways Your Body Tells You That You’re Stressed Out

15 Weird Ways Your Body Tells You That You’re Stressed Out

It’s been a rough week. Or month. Or several months. Your mind is in chaos, and now your body is joining the party. Are you sick, or is it stress? Before you start worrying about potential sickness, read these 15 weird warning signs of stress in your body.

1. You’re exhausted.


No, not just mentally. You’re physically bone-tired. You’d think with your mind being a war zone, your body might cut you a little slack. Alas, not so. Did you know your brain can make your body tired? Unfortunately, it’s true. Stress can make you physically tired as well as emotionally!

2. No, like, all the time. You wake up exhausted.

Restless man waking up early with headache after rough night

The exhaustion begins before you fully open your eyes. Technically, you’ve slept. You should at least feel a little better. But no. You’ve just woken up, and you’re already wanting a nap. It’s like even when you do sleep, your body won’t fully relax. According to Silent Night Therapy, ineffective sleep can be a huge indicator of stress.

3. You can’t fall asleep to begin with…


Sometimes it’s not that you aren’t getting effective sleep, it’s that you aren’t getting any sleep at all! This can also contribute to the perpetual exhaustion. You lay awake in bed at night stressing (sometimes you don’t even realize you’re doing it!). Your brain will not shut down, no matter how many sheep you count. That’s why there’s no “try to get some rest” advice in this post! We know that’s easier said than done!

4. You’re grinding your teeth.

Please stop. Please. You’re causing serious damage to your teeth, and setting everyone else on edge. No offense. You may not realize you’re doing it, but grinding your teeth is often how your body manifests your mental tension. Try to massage your jaw and relax your muscles or, if it’s subconscious, get a mouthguard to help offset the damage.

5. Your body is tense.

You go to get a massage, and the masseuse asks you, “Have you been in an accident lately?” Nope, you’re just that stressed. And that stress is knotting up your muscles and making it impossible for you to fully relax. A tense body is a major indicator of external stress. So next time your masseuse seems to be having a little extra trouble releasing that tension, let them know that they’re doing great—it’s not them, it’s you.

6. Those pounds just won’t drop.

Stupid evolution. “Stupid,” in the sense that we haven’t evolved enough. Sometimes, when our bodies feel stressed, they get their biological timelines confused. Your body forgets that you’re a 21st-century woman dealing with corporate workplace toxicity, and assumes that you’re a medieval peasant woman who requires the extra body fat to survive another harsh winter. It’s great that our bodies love us this much, but still annoying.

7. You’re losing weight too easily.

Probably because you aren’t eating enough and your need to solve all the world’s problems is overriding your natural instinct to eat. But remember, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. You can’t fix everything (or anything) if you aren’t properly fueling yourself.

8. You’re buzzing (no, not buzzed).

Buzzed would possibly be preferable…You’re literally buzzing with nervous energy. Your knees are bouncing when you sit (if you can sit still at all), your hands are shaking, etc. Your body is following your brain’s lead to go, go, go! It’s very possible that this is a result of chronic stress.

9. Trips to the toilet might be a little traumatizing…

That pre-date diarrhea you’ve had every Friday for the last four weeks? That’s not a result of “butterflies.” Verywell Health says that’s likely anxiety. Listen to it. Cancel that next date. The mind-body connection gets all too real in the intestinal area. It’s not very sexy, but it does serve as a pretty good warning sign that all is not well.

10. The common cold is getting a little too common for you.

Did you know that mental stress can affect your immune system? Your body is busy coping with the chaos of your brain, leaving you defenseless against any and every bug your kid brings home from school. It’s one of stress’s most inconvenient side effects.

11. Your head hurts.

I mean, this makes sense. Stress is so often mental, after all, so it makes sense that your head would feel the physical effects. Maybe you’ve never been prone to headaches, so you’re tempted to go to the internet. Before you go down the brain tumor rabbit hole, look around and examine your life. Are you feeling new pressure and stress? If so, there’s a good chance that you’ve found the cause of your headaches.

12. Your mouth is really dry.

You don’t think you’re dehydrated…You’ve gone through your 40oz emotional support tumbler three times today. Yet, the inside of your mouth still feels like the Sahara. Unfortunately, this is just another annoying effect of being stressed out.

13. The room starts spinning.

Dizziness can often be a response to panic and overwhelm, which are more extreme forms of stress. It’s like your brain saying “I cannot cope with standing right now. I’ve had enough.” If this happens, just sit, take some deep cleansing breaths, and consider how you might minimize some external stressors.

14. You’re sweaty.

Stressed out, probably sick, and sweaty. Life is fun, isn’t it? And now the sweat is just adding to the stress and anxiety. Can people smell me? Can they see the sweat under my arms? It’s both a warning sign and a vicious cycle. Maybe in this season, we forgo the “natural” deodorant for some prescription strength. That will at least alleviate the stress of potential BO.

15. Your bedroom hasn’t seen much action lately.

And that’s not because you listened to your stress poop and canceled that date. Stress can have a profound effect on your libido (The Gottman Institute). Seeing as how “spicy time” can serve as a great stress reliever, your lack of interest/ability seems like a really cruel joke.

16. Feeling lonely? Find your match with the power of thought.

happy couple in their 40sShutterstock

Our sister site, Sweetn, makes it easy – take their quiz, use their tools, and see your love life transform. It’s quick and easy to get started and their actionable tools will make a noticeable difference to the way you date. Ready? Click here and start your journey.

Beryl Kate is a writer and blogger based in Mississippi. In between potty training as a mom herself, and supporting moms as a doula, she writes articles for Bolde, PsychLove, various Medium publications, and slowly drafts a romance novel.