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Early Warning Signs of Stress

The early warning signs of stress will be unique to the individual, because we do not all experience stress in the same way. The first signs of stress might be mild versions of these symptoms, while stress overload is signified by more severe symptoms. Some of the most common early signs of stress include:

Physical signs of stress:
- clenched jaw
- hands clenched into fists
- muscle tension
- shoulders held high up toward the ears
- rapid, shallow breathing
- cold hands and feet
- loss of appetite
- upset stomach
- digestive problems
- headache
- vision problems
- muscle cramping
- unexplained pain
- fatigue

Emotional and cognitive signs of stress:
- fatigue
- irritability
- sadness
- anger
- feeling emotionally numb
- problems with memory
- decreased ability to concentrate
- difficulty making decisions
- confusion
- worrying
- panic and anxiety
- racing thoughts

Becoming familiar with your own symptoms of stress can allow you to deal with stress before it becomes a problem.

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