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Stress management health centre

The effects of stress on your body


Cognitive symptoms of stress include:

  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness and disorganisation
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor judgement
  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side.

Behavioural symptoms of stress include:

  • Changes in appetite - either not eating or eating too much
  • Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs or cigarettes
  • Exhibiting more nervous behaviour, such as nail biting, fidgeting and pacing.

What are the consequences of long-term stress?

A little stress every now and then is not something to be concerned about. Ongoing, chronic stress, however, can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems, including:

Help is available for stress

Stress is a part of life but what matters most is how you handle it. The best thing you can do to prevent stress overload and the health consequences that come with it is to know your stress symptoms and manage stress.

If you, or someone you know, is feeling overwhelmed by stress, seek medical advice. Many symptoms of stress can also be signs of other health problems. Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms, rule out other conditions, and advise you on ways to manage stress.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on March 08, 2016

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