Stress affects everyone differently. Feeling overwhelmed and anxious is a universal part of being human, regardless of age, gender, or other factors. However, while every man and woman reacts to stress in unique ways, there are some symptoms of stress that are particularly common among women.
In this post, we’ll be discussing how to identify the most common symptoms of stress in women. These symptoms are divided into several categories – physical, mental, relational, and occupational.
If you find that the symptoms listed in this article reflect your day-to-day experience, don’t be discouraged – stress is both common and highly improvable. At the end of this post, we’ll unpack some of the best ways to defend against stress in your daily life.
With the right information, resources, and tools, you can conquer stress and live a calmer, happier life.
Physical Symptoms of Stress
Headaches: Stress has been known to cause what is often referred to as a tension headache. Also known as a “stress headache,” tension headaches often arise under circumstances that are difficult, overwhelming, and anxiety-provoking. A tension headache can also develop after a bad night of sleep or due to poor posture.
Insomnia: Stress and anxiety can make it tough to sleep at night. If you tend to lie in bed in the middle of the night with a head full of racing, anxious thoughts, it’s very possible that you’re dealing with chronic stress. This type of stress rarely subsides and tends to affect your life during both the day and night.
Upset stomach: Chronic stress can also leave you with an upset stomach and nausea, which may lead to diarrhea as well. This symptom of stress and anxiety is often misinterpreted as a sign of getting sick or having eaten something that your stomach doesn’t agree with. However, stress-related nausea can arise seemingly out of nowhere, often triggered by anxiety-provoking circumstances.
Loss of Sexual Desire: If you’re feeling stressed and anxious on a daily basis, you may find yourself losing interest in physical intimacy. Under chronic stress, the thought of having sex might become a source of additional anxiety. Likewise, chronic stress can make things that were previously enjoyable to you far less rewarding, fulfilling, and stimulating.
Other symptoms of stress may include sweating, increased heart rate, weight gain,constipation, aches, tense muscles, chest pain, rapid breathing, frequent colds and infections, nervousness, clenched jaw and grinding teeth. Furthermore, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), in 2010, 51 percent of people surveyed reported fatigue resulting from stress.
Mental Symptoms of Stress
Anxiety: Stress and anxiety are terms that are often used interchangeably. However, chronic anxiety disorders diagnosable mental health condition that can develop due to chronic stress. If your life is full of stressful circumstances, you may start experiencing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, including panic attacks, restlessness, irritability, and more.
Depression: Depression is another diagnosable mental health condition that has been linked to heightened stress. Depression caused by stress is typically circumstantial – the amount of overwhelming factors in your life may make you feel helpless, causing you to descend into a state of depression. Depression can leave you feeling apathetic, hopeless, unmotivated, irritable, and disconnected from the world around you.
Irritability: Chronic stress can start to cause you to involuntarily snap at friends, family members, coworkers, and even strangers. If you’re finding that your temper seems to be getting shorter and small things are starting to irritate you, you may be dealing with chronic stress.
Mood Swings: When you feel like your life is ruled by stress, your mood can go up and down throughout each day. Small things can trigger your stress response, taking you out of a state of contentment and happiness and putting you in the throes of anxiety.
Relational Symptoms of Stress
Avoidance: Stress may prompt you to spend less time with the people you love. If you’re constantly feeling anxious and overwhelmed, social functions and get-togethers with family and friends can start to feel burdensome, no matter how outgoing you are. Chronic stress can also prompt you to neglect or avoid obligations from work, family, and other aspects of your life.
Isolation: When chronic stress starts to rule your life, you may notice your “social battery” getting smaller and smaller. With less social energy than you once had, you may feel prompted to spend more time alone in isolation. Isolating yourself because of stress can lead to the development of issues like circumstantial depression.
Lack of Intimacy: Stress can make you feel disconnected from the people around you, no matter how close your relationships are with them. When your mind is clouded by stress, it’s easy to get distracted and disengage from your friends, family, and others. The result is often feelings of intense loneliness and isolation.
Occupational Symptoms of Stress
Overworking: Stress can make it hard to set boundaries, which can weaken your work-life balance. As a result, you may find yourself overcommitting to work-related obligations, stacking up tons of responsibilities that you might not have the energy or bandwidth to handle. Without a strong work-life balance, stress can give way to even more stress, and you can get stuck in a vicious cycle of overworking and exhaustion.
Tension With Coworkers: As we discussed in our list of the mental symptoms of stress, feeling overwhelmed can make you snappy and irritable. If you work in an environment with others, your stress can put a strain on your relationships with your coworkers.
Procrastination: Stress can prompt you to push off commitments, deadlines, and obligations, also known as procrastination. When you’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, deadlines can make you feel powerless, unmotivated, and guilty. While you might be able to push past these feelings under normal circumstances, stress can make it harder to get your work done in a timely manner.
Lack of Concentration: When your mind is racing with anxious thoughts, it’s tough to stay on task and work well. If you’re constantly feeling torn away from your job and other responsibilities by your anxious mind, it may be a sign that you’re suffering from chronic stress.
Dealing With Stress in Healthy Ways
If you recognize any of the symptoms on this list in your own life, don’t be discouraged. By implementing stress defense habits into your daily routine, you can find the relief from stress that you’re looking for.
Some of the best stress-fighting habits are also some of the simplest. You can work to reduce stress in your life by implementing healthy practices like daily exercise, getting enough sleep, deep breathing, and relaxation techniques like meditation or practicing yoga. Eating a balanced diet is also a great way to strengthen your immune system so that stress doesn't take a strong toll on your body.
In addition, a licensed counselor or therapist can also help you work through stress and find better ways to deal with problems if any of the above techniques are insufficient solutions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which involves changing your thinking patterns and helps to reframe your thought process can help combat the daily stressors causing you so much worry.
You can also complement these helpful solutions with the daily use of R3SET’s Calm and Unwind capsules, which are specially formulated to help you beat stress with botanical ingredients sourced from Nature’s Medicine Cabinet®
If you’re a woman struggling to conquer stress, there’s hope. At R3SET, we firmly believe that everyone is capable of living a less stressed life. By forming healthy habits to help reduce the stress in your everyday life, you can cultivate a calmer mind and start feeling happier and more fulfilled.
To learn more about the science of stress and stress management, as well as the power of the natural ingredients in R3SET’s Calm and Unwind capsules, make sure to visit our blog. The R3SET blog is packed with helpful information about stress management, the causes of stress, and the ingredients included in our supplements.
* *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease
Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and Sexual Dysfunction Among Postmenopausal Women in Shiraz | NCBI
Stress Generation, Avoidance Coping, and Depressive Symptoms | NCBI
CE Corner: The Risks of Social Isolation | NCBI