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Stress is something everyone goes through at some point in their life, and no one is ever truly completely free of it. It controls us in more ways than we care to acknowledge and can really do serious damage.

To get a comprehensive understanding of what stress is and how it affects both mind and body, “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” by Robert M. Sapolsky is an excellent start. Sapolsky, a renowned neuroendocrinologist, explains the mechanisms behind stress and offers insights into how chronic stress can lead to real health issues, aligning with the symptoms you’ve listed.

Whether you are dealing with extreme stress or just something minor, it shouldn’t go ignored. The longer you ignore it, the worse it will become. Stress is something we all need to know how to manage properly. Stress is our body’s way of responding to threats, and it is inevitable no matter how hard we try to avoid it.

If you are faced with persistent or constant stress, it can and will end up having physical effects on you. For one, you’re going to notice a real problem with your heart rate and in some cases struggle with insomnia. The longer your stress symptoms go undealt with, the worse your health is going to become. You just can’t run from this kind of thing.

Since physical activity is mentioned as a way to combat stress, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” by John J. Ratey delves into how exercise can improve not just physical health but also mental well-being. Ratey’s book provides scientific backing to the idea that getting active can be a potent stress reliever.

Some of the common symptoms associated with stress (chronic or otherwise) are as follows:

Frequent Headaches
Light Headedness
Neck Aches
Back Pain
Difficulty Concentrating
Stomach Pain
Dry Mouth
Chest Pain
Rapid Pulse
Increase/Decrease Appetite
Weight Gain/Loss

While that is a decent size list, it is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the symptoms associated with stress. Stress can have a huge range of effects on a person and leave them feeling nothing like themselves. Being able to recognize these things as stress-induced will help you learn to deal with them.

For those who find value in understanding the cognitive patterns that contribute to stress, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” by David D. Burns offers cognitive-behavioral techniques for addressing negative thoughts and emotions that often accompany stress. Burns’ approaches are practical and can be applied to everyday situations that may cause stress.

If you notice these things happening in your life or are just stressed to the point where you really want to do something about it, you need to try and take the steps necessary to manage it. You can socialize more or less, try and find a hobby that you really enjoy, get physically active, or do some kind of relaxation techniques. Whatever you choose, it will make a big difference in your life.

Far too often, we forget how dangerous stress can be. If you are stressed, please do what you need to do to reduce it and get yourself back on track. No one should have to deal with the things listed above when they can be avoided.