We know what stress feels like in our minds, but many secondary symptoms of stress can be hard to recognize at first. Stress affects our entire bodies, and it may present itself in unusual ways, as things you may brush off as something else.
It’s been established that the effects of high levels of chronic stress may kill you and that it leads to an increased risk of heart disease.
But what about everyday ailments that may be making life more difficult? Could they be secondary symptoms of stress? And how can we treat them?
Secondary Symptoms of Stress
Stress manifests differently in every person. We are all familiar with the feelings of being overwhelmed, unsure, rushed, or pressured as a result of stress. These are considered primary symptoms. They present first. However, there are many secondary symptoms of stress, both physical and emotional.
Secondary Physical Symptoms of Stress
Most people who experience stress have a physical reaction to the condition, even if they don’t realize it. Some of the most common secondary physical symptoms include headaches, muscle tension, teeth grinding, and a clenched jaw.
Physical symptoms that people don’t realize are associated with stress include:
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Becoming sick more frequently
- Dry mouth or difficulty swallowing
- Decreased energy
- Low libido and sexual dysfunction
Secondary Emotional Symptoms of Stress
If you recognize a combination of the physical symptoms listed above, you may want to check in with yourself emotionally too. In addition to the primary, common symptoms associated with stress, there are many that people may not immediately recognize.
Emotional symptoms that people don’t realize are associated with stress include:
- Struggling with self-esteem or self-image
- Isolating oneself from loved ones or social activities
- Poor judgment or compulsive behavior
- Frequent mood swings
How to Beat the Symptoms
Secondary symptoms of stress typically cannot be cured unless the root problem is addressed. That means you need to face your challenges head-on and find ways to ease the pressure. It can be difficult, but it is possible.
Ways to effectively ease stress include:
- Participating in daily activities that reduce stress
- Use breathing techniques that are proven to alleviate stress
- Try an unconventional technique like isolation tanks to reduce stress
- Check out some self-development podcasts
Odds are you’re stressed without even realizing it. Take an internal inventory. Have you undergone a serious change lately? Is life getting a little crazy? If the answer is yes, tackle your stress today.