11 Ways Your Body Is Telling You You’re Stressed Out

Your body sends you messages when things aren’t cool. If you’ve been highly stressed lately, sooner or later this stress will show up in your body. If any of these 11 things are happening to you, heed the call and take the rest of the day off because you’re hella stressed!

  1. You’re having a serious acne flare-up. It might not be acne; maybe you’re experiencing psoriasis, eczema, or some other skin condition. The point is that stress affects your skin. A study by Temple University Health System found that there’s a connection between stress and skin conditions, with people who are more stressed experiencing different skin problems such as itchy or scaly skin. In addition, when your body’s stressed, it produces more cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone. This hormone instructs your skin’s glands to produce more oil, causing problems like breakouts.
  2. You’re skipping dessert (or eating three of them). A loss of appetite is often associated with extreme stress, but so is a ravenous appetite. The American Psychological Association’s 2015 survey found that 31% of people had skipped a meal within the period of a month due to stress, while 39% of people said they’d snacked on unhealthy foods or overeaten because of it. Since stress can show up in the form of nausea or stomach knots, these symptoms make it hard to be in tune with your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
  3. You’re snapping at everyone. If you’re moody and causing people around you to walk on eggshells, then you’re probably way too stressed. Stress can also make you more anxious, and even trigger an anxiety disorder, a symptom of which is irritability. A study published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease found that over 90% of people with generalized anxiety disorder experienced irritability during periods of extreme anxiety.
  4. Your stomach is sore. If you’re suddenly getting stomach pains and discomfort, stress could be the culprit. Harvard Medical School research found that chronic stress wears down the digestive system, making it more sensitive. Stress can also worsen stomach pain.
  5. You making bad decisions. Interestingly, if you’re seeing the sunny side of why you should take a new job or go on a date with a guy you’ve met on Tinder even though your friends are saying it’s a bad idea, you could be making decisions out of stress. In a study reported by the Association for Psychological Science journal, researchers found that people who are stressed tend to pay greater attention to the benefits or upsides of what they’re considering doing, ¬†instead of the drawbacks. This is also why stress plays a role in addiction because people who are addicted to substances have a difficult time controlling their urges.
  6. You’re always getting the flu. If your body’s under stress for a long period of time, it makes it easier for you to get the flu. The reason why is because stress puts your immune system under pressure, meaning it’s harder for your body to fight off bacteria and viruses.
  7. You’re up all night. If you’re riled up during the day, it’s really tough to switch off your thoughts by the time it’s bedtime. If you’re battling to sleep, it could be that you’re full of stress and if you’re avoiding that stress because you don’t want to deal with it, it’s likely to come bug you when you want to get your beauty sleep.
  8. You’re forgetting stuff. You might think you’re more forgetful than usual because your mind is full of so many thoughts and worries, but forgetfulness can also be caused by the sleep deprivation that’s common during prolonged stress. Not getting enough sleep means that your brain can’t recall and store memories. It’s plain to see how stress is a vicious cycle of note.
  9. You’ve got aches and pains in your body. Ever wondered why you feel aches and pains when you’re stressed? Well, it’s because your body tenses up during anxiety and stress. This happens a lot if you’re experiencing a lot of stress, which means that you can end up with body aches and even things like shoulder pain, backache, and headaches. You’re just not giving your body’s muscles a chance to relax.
  10. Your period is acting crazy. If your period is late or doesn’t come at all this month, and you’re not pregnant, changes in your menstrual cycle can be a sign that you’re dealing with a lot of stress. Stress basically¬†disrupts your hormone levels, which can change the duration and frequency of your period. Stress is sneaky!
  11. Your tooth is sore but you don’t have cavities. If you’re getting tooth pain or even pain in your jaw, this could be from stress. You might be grinding your teeth without even realizing it, or doing it in your sleep. This can cause pain, so it’s worth doing some relaxation techniques (and maybe visiting your dentist).
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.