Stress – Causes, signs, symptoms and other risk factors


Stress is just the way on which your body is responding to any kind of threat or demand. When you are feeling that you are too much under emotional or mental pressure, then you are in stress. When you feel that you are unable to cope, then the pressure turns into stress. People can react in different ways on stress. In some cases when people feel stressful, then they cannot handle with it. While in other cases when two individuals are in stress, then the first or the second person can be inspired by the opposite person. There are many things in our life which can lead to this condition such as money problems, work and relationships.  When you feel that you are stressed, you can concentrate to beat this condition or this problem will be affecting on the other parts of your life. This problem can affect how your body works, how you feel, behave and think. When you are in stress, then you can feel loss of appetite, sweating, difficulty concentrating and sleeping problems which are the most common signs of this condition. You can feel irritable, anxious, you can worry constantly, go over things in your head or you can have low self esteem. You can notice that you eat less and you drink more than normal days. [1] Also you can feel that you act unreasonably. You can feel muscle pain, muscle tension, dizziness and headaches. When you are in a stressful situation, then the hormone level in your body is increased. These hormones are released to help you to fight against the stress. When the threat or the pressure has passed, then the stress hormones are on normal levels. But if you are constantly under stress, then the stress hormones will stay in your body which can lead to the symptoms of stress. [2]

Causes of stress

We know that we are different from others. In this modern era the number of people who are under stress is increasing. There are many causes of this problem which are separated in two groups:

  1. Common external causes :
  • being too busy
  • major life changes
  • children and family
  • work or school
  • financial problems [3]
  • relationship difficulties [4]
  1. Common internal causes :
  • all or nothing attitude
  • chronic worry
  • rigid thinking, lack of flexibility
  • pessimism [5]
  • unrealistic expectations (perfectionism) [6]
  • negative self – talk

Recognizing your stress triggers: If you are not sure which is the real cause for your stress, then you should notice in one notebook which was the reason that you feel stressed. You should write them in a period of 2 – 4 weeks. You can notice in your notebook:

  • The date when you have a stressful episode (you should write the place and time of it)
  • Who was with you
  • What you were doing
  • What you have thought in that situation
  • How you felt physically
  • How you felt emotionally
  • What were you thinking
  • What you started doing
  • Is that the first time when you were stressed a lot
  • Type a rating of your stressful episode from 1 – 10


You should talk with your doctor if you feel constantly stress. It is a good idea to take your dairy on your meeting.

Signs and symptoms of stress: There can be lot of signs and symptoms of this condition. [7] Here are some of them:

  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Frequent headaches, jaw pain or clenching
  • Ringing, buzzing or “popping” sounds
  • Gritting, grinding teeth,
  • Dry mouth, problems swallowing
  • Stuttering or stammering
  • Back pain, neck ache and muscle spasms
  • Nightmares, insomnia and disturbing dreams
  • Trouble learning new information
  • Difficulty with your concentration, racing thoughts
  • Disorganization, forgetfulness and confusion
  • Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
  • Light headedness, dizziness, faintness
  • Frequent blushing, sweating
  • Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed
  • Feeling of loneliness or worthlessness
  • Cold or sweaty hands, feet
  • Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores
  • Little interest in appearance, punctuality
  • Nervous habits, fidgeting, feet tapping
  • Rashes, itching, hives and goose bumps
  • Stomach pain, heartburn and nausea
  • Unexplained or frequent “allergy” attacks
  • Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
  • Increased number of minor accidents
  • Overreaction to petty annoyances


[1] Yau YHC, Potenza MN. Stress and eating behaviors. Minerva Endocrinology. 2013;38(3):255–67.

[2] Ranabir S, Reetu K. Stress and hormones. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2011;15(1):18–22. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.77573

[3] McCloud T, Bann D. Financial stress and mental health among higher education students in the UK up to 2018: rapid review of evidence. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (JECH). 2019;73(10):977–84. doi:10.1136/jech-2019-212154

[4] Australian Psychological Society. Relationship problems. Retrieved from /

[5] Anzaldi K, Shifren K. Optimism, pessimism, coping, and depression: A study on individuals with Parkinson’s disease. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development. 2018;88(3):231-49.

[6] Amaral AP, Soares MJ, Pereira AT, et al. 2094 – Perfectionism and stress – a study in college students. European Psychiatry. 2013;28(1):1.

[7] Aytac S. The sources of stress, the symptoms of stress and anger styles as a psychosocial risk at occupational health and safety: A case study on Turkish police officers. Procedia Manufacturing. 2015;3:6421-8.



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