Stress is a normal response to situational pressures or demands, especially if they are perceived as threatening or dangerous.
A certain amount of stress is a normal part of daily life. Small doses of stress help people meet deadlines, be prepared for presentations, be productive and arrive on time for important events. However, long-term stress can become harmful. When stress becomes overwhelming and prolonged, the risks for mental health problems increase.
The signs and symptoms of stress may be cognitive (thinking-related), emotional, physical or behavioural. Their severity can range from mild to severe.
Cognitive symptoms include:
Difficulty concentrating or thinking
Negativity or lack of self-confidence
Difficulty making decisions.
Emotional symptoms include:
Feeling hopeless or helpless
Feeling apprehensive, anxious or nervous
Feeling unhappy or guilty
Feeling agitated or unable to relax.
Physical symptoms include:
Muscle tension or other physical pain or discomfort
Nausea, diarrhea or vomiting
Loss of sex drive
Rapid heart rate
High blood pressure
Behavioural symptoms include: