Hidden Signs of Stress and Anxiety
By Amy Przeworski, PhD, Special to Everyday Health
With the hectic pace of life, it can be difficult to keep your stress to a minimum. Sometimes it’s also difficult to recognize that you’re experiencing stress or anxiety. Because of the mind-body connection between your mental health and physical health, stress or anxiety often appears physically as vague aches or pains. Here are some common physical symptoms of stress or anxiety that you may not realize are psychological in origin:
- Frequent headaches. Clenching your jaw; tensing your facial, neck, or shoulder muscles; or grinding your teeth are physical responses to stress that could cause head pain.
- Body aches or tension. When you are exposed to stress, your sympathetic nervous system activates the fight-or-flight response. Blood is then sent to major muscle groups that increase muscle tension and prepare you to fight or flee a situation. If you do not take any action, however, muscles may stay tight and become sore or painful.