What Are Your Stress Symptoms Signs?

Fight or Flee the Tiger (Unless One Just Freezes)

Fight or Flee the Tiger (Unless One Just Freezes)

STRESS, at an excessive level, poisons our lives, in the proper and figurative meanings:

Not only does it make life unpleasant, it sickens people.

According to Dr Hebert Benson, of the Harvard University Mind/Body Medical Institute, approximately 80% of medical consultations are related to stress, one way or another, as well as 60% to 80% of work injuries, according to the American Institute of Stress.

Keep reading to learn about your stress symptoms signs!

Nowadays, stress appears in daily conversations, even in children’s, but the word itself is source of some confusion.

  • Do things look to me like a mountain because I am stressed out, or is it in reverse?
  • Is stress part of my job requirement, or is it in my head?
  • Do I worry too much?

« If I could just relax, say many chronically stressed people, I surely wouldn’t have so much stress!»

If it’s possible to better resist physically and mentally to stress and even to transform it into a helpful life engine, it does require one to take the time to make it so. 

The Self-Regulating Stress Response topic will be covered in a forthcoming article entitled:

Free Mindfulness Exercises


The Three Components of Stress

When we speak of stress, the 3 following elements are necessarily present, however combined in very diverse ways:

1- The Agent, or Source, of Stress

A physical, mental, social or emotional stimulus happens, to which we must adapt.

This stimulus can be one or several of many things:

This stimulus can be minor (like a speeding ticket), or major (a job change or move), positive (a marriage) or negative (a conflict), exceptional (a surgery) or constant (a busy schedule), planned (an exam) or unplanned (an accident), etc.

Let’s say also that stress can be physiological, such as caused by medication, an injury, or being out in the cold weather, since our bodies need to react by modifying our chemistry.

Lack of stimulation can also create stress. However, the opposite is generally true in our era, especially stress related to lifestyle, and psychological stress.

2- The Attitude Towards Stress

The intensity of the stress reaction will depend on the message sent by the brain to the endocrinal glands.

But this message will be modulated by how we perceive the stressful stimulus:

Whether we perceive the stimulus as a lesser or greater danger, more demanding or constraining, will lower or increase the baseline message of change sent by the brain to the glands.

For example, being late by 5 minutes will generally not lead to stress, unless one is going to miss an important train, or if the brain imagines any other catastrophic scenario, perhaps quite improbably, but that is perceived as the almost real reality.

This could happen if our education has ferociously trained us to be punctual.

A negative attitude or unrealistic expectations also lead to stress issues.

In summary, stress is a reflex reaction, both psychological and physiological, of the organism in front of a difficult situation, which requires an adaptation.

3- The Reaction to Stress 

When the brain sends an alarm, immediate physiological reactions, like an increase of the cardiac rhythm, blood vessel constriction and an adrenalin increase, ensure that the body can react to the event.

These physiological reactions are unfortunately accompanied by an alarm, of mobilisation and defence against an attack, or at least a situation perceived as such. And herein lies the problem.

Stress reactions are idiosyncratic to the individual.


Stress has an adaptive function that mobilizes our ressources in order to either address a threat or other important change in our environment, as well as to simply keep us motivated to do our best…

In small dosis, stress can be POSITIVE!

But if stress persists for longer than just the necessary time to “Fight the tiger or to flee”, meaning to the point where we are constantly running in emergency code, the active physiological mechanisms will lead to psychological and/or physical signs: The Stress Symptoms. 

Are you among the ones who stay zen under all circumstances?

Good for you!

Click here for an inventory of…

Your Stress Symptoms Signs!

You might be surprised!


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5 Responses to What Are Your Stress Symptoms Signs?

  1. Stella says:

    Every person handles stress differently and with different levels of concentration

    Personally, my heart beats faster than normal sometimes.  So I just slow down my breathing and it becomes normal very quickly..  My body does get stressed when  confusion is around me though.  And I suffer from eczema as a result.

    I also like journaling – putting my thought down on paper so I do not have too much to think about.

    I am sure many people will find this an interesting topic though and will use some of your recommendations.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Lyne says:

      Thank you Stella for sharing the way you handle stress when it becomes an issue…I am amazed to discover the numerous options among which people can choose as their own solution(s) to self-regulate it. Congrats for having found what works for you!

  2. jpaliskis says:

    Stress… these days a lot of people feel stressed and you right, stress poisons our lives and killer # 1. Stress produces a lot of sicknesses like cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and etc. When I stressed out I start to lose hair, my blood pressure up, increase my appetite. How to solve the stress? Meds? they produce side effects. When I start to feel the stress coming I go to my garden do some work: watering flowers, checking on tomatoes or cucumber plants or just go to woods and walk around. My husband’s antistress pill – exercising.

    You nailed it with your article, wrote in details. Easy to read and thank you for the excellent article.

    • Lyne says:

      Thank you for sharing the way you handle stress when it becomes an issue…I am amazed to discover the numerous options among which people can choose as their own solution(s) to self-regulate it. Congrats for having found what works for you!

  3. chrisJ says:

    Such a great post.  Over the past year I have started a new job and the stress has been insurmountable at times.  It has led me to look inward and see what the source is, as you say.  And I have also looked at what causes this stress.  I have come to the conclusion that it mainly derives around the environment and having other people stressed out around me that brings stress out in me because I dont like seeing them stressed.  Any help on this?

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