Physiological Stress Symptoms

Chest Pains

Chest pains are normally caused by muscle tension, and pains can make one feel very scared, giving rise to more serious concerns, like heart attack. This is normally just conditioned responses. Real heart pain is very different to chest pain and very often does not start in the chest. Deep slow breathing and body relaxation exercises are a highly effective at reducing and diminishing these symptoms. Additionally, massaging upper back, shoulders and chest, will also help reduce muscle tension.


Headaches, including pain ranging from stabbing pains to light pressure in the neck and face area. Since the blood vessels and nerves in our head and face originate or path through our neck, this is normally one of the first to become tense, although it can feel strange and disturbing, but usually just a reaction to the tension.


Although sweating is a normal process to help cool the body, during periods of stress the body mechanism is preparing itself for the “flight or fight” syndrome, releases sweat to cool the body and divert blood flow to various parts of the body to deal with the possibility of flight or fright. Sweating subsides as stress levels subsides.


Indigestion, stomach cramps, heartburn, diarrhea or constipation can be caused during periods of stress and anxiety. Their cause is due to the body’s response to stress by diverting blood away from the stomach to other muscle tissues, causing the stomach muscles to tighten.

Skin Conditions

Skin breaks / rashes, dryness or spots are common symptoms of stress and anxiety, including light eczema type rashes around the nose, lips and even face. These tend to disappear just as quickly when the stress levels drops.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath or sensation of not being able to expand the chest to take in the enough air can be distressing and add to existing stress levels, but it is important to note that these are sensations caused by exaggerated nerve impulses. These symptoms are unlikely to harm you physically, you are unlikely to stop breathing or pass out.

Sex Drive

Loss of sex drive or sexual dysfunction is characterised by the inability to fully enjoy sexual intercourse. This can make it difficult for a person to enjoy or to have sexual intercourse, while physically this is unlikely to cause any real harm, its psychological toll can be heavy, giving rise to feelings of inadequacy, increasing anxiety or depression.


Sleeplessness or insomnia is the inability to obtain appropriate quality of sleep, and can manifest as difficulty in falling asleep, remaining asleep, or both, and upon waking up leaving people feeling unrefreshed.


Sleep too much or hypersomnia is an excessively deep or prolonged sleep period. Persons with hypersomnia tend to nap repeatedly during the day, quite often at inappropriate times such as during a meal, at work, or even in conversation. These daytime naps usually provide no or little relief from symptoms.


Fatigued / exhaustion manifests as a physical and/or mental exhaustion that is triggered by stress, anxiety, worry, medication, overwork, or mental and physical illness or disease.


Nausea is a physical sensation accompanying the urge but not always leading to vomiting, and is usually felt when nerve endings in the stomach and other parts of the body are irritated.


Diarrhea means an increased frequency or decreased consistency of bowel movements and change in its consistence, normally from solid to watery stools.

Tight Stomach

Tight stomach is caused by to the body’s response to stress by diverting blood away from the stomach to other muscle tissues thus causing the stomach muscles to tighten.

Muscle Tightening

Muscle tightness is a condition in which muscles remain semi-contracted for a longer period, and is caused by the blood vessels constriction, reducing blood flow to the soft tissues, muscles, tendons and nerves. The build up to biochemical waste products results in muscle tension, spasm and can lead to back-pains.

Aches & Pains

Pains & aches including stiffness in arms and legs, tension, soreness, spasms, trembling in muscles, resulting in symptoms like back-ache, it may be contained in one muscle or many muscles and can last for a few brief moments or longer periods.