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Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit.

Common effects of stress

Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that's left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Common effects of stress on your body

Muscle tension or pain
Chest pain
Change in sex drive
Stomach upset
Sleep problems

Common effects of stress on your mood

Lack of motivation or focus
Feeling overwhelmed
Irritability or anger
Sadness or depression

Common effects of stress on your behavior

Overeating or under eating
Angry outbursts
Drug or alcohol abuse
Tobacco use
Social withdrawal
Exercising less often