Home » Five Physical Signs You Might Actually Be Stressed

Five Physical Signs You Might Actually Be Stressed

I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror the other day that made me realise that perhaps I am more stressed than I realised. Up until this point, I hadn’t really considered the physical signs you might actually be stressed.

Life recently has been quite stressful and we are undergoing lots of uncertain times and lifestyle changes to come. There have been days where our stress levels have been really high and it’s felt like an emotional rollercoaster. Yet other days have felt really nice and filled with new adventures.

During stressful times, I always gravitate towards journaling. As well as the act of writing being extremely therapeutic, I can look back at my thoughts and experiences. This actually has been really helpful for me to look back at the physical symptoms I have been experiencing.

I’m not a doctor, this is just an observation of my own experiences. I just thought it was quite insightful when I thought about how my body was telling me I was perhaps more stressed than I realised.


Here are my observations of the five physical signs you might be more stressed than you realise:

1.Upset stomach

I suffer from IBS and when I’m stressed it always flares up. I control my IBS through diet and taking Alforex supplements (this isn’t sponsored, although I have reviewed Alforex in the past).

Stress is probably the biggest contributor to my IBS going crazy. It’s like a vicious circle though, the more stressed you get about having a flare-up, the more likely you are to have an IBS flare up.

2. Trouble sleeping 

As soon as I’m stressed, I will start having trouble sleeping. Also invariably when I do sleep, I will have crazy, weird dreams. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been wide awake at 4:30! I’ve started leaving a notepad next to the bed to write down the crazy list of ‘to-dos’ that flood my brain at that hour.

Lack of sleep also leads to puffy or dark circles under your eyes. I look like I haven’t slept for weeks without a good slathering of concealer under my eyes.  

If you are having trouble sleeping, I did a post about five ways to sort out your sleep struggles, if you want to check that out.

3. Lack of concentration and mental clarity.

Combined with lack of sleep, I always know I’m stressed when I struggle to read a book. I will have to keep re-reading to make sense of the chapter and I can’t connect with the characters.

The mental clarity that you need to make sense of the situation and help you rationalise what is going on. It just vanishes. Then I make mistakes and just feel overwhelmed.

4. You have another cold

Most of us won’t get through winter without the odd cough or cold. But if you’re constantly feeling run down, it might be a physical sign you might actually be stressed. Thankfully, I’ve built up a bit of immunity to colds from working in schools, but I know this is something Dan suffers with a lot when he is stressed.

5. Hair loss 

I don’t remember the day, but I was in the bath and I noticed I had lots of hair on my hands when I rinsed off the conditioner. I brushed my hair and the brush was covered in my hair. Me being me, I obviously didn’t tell anyone about this. Instead, of course, I turned to Doctor Google.

Hair loss I think is the one that really highlighted to me there are physical signs you might actually be stressed. Although, I also have to consider that I’ve done the keto diet in recent months and of course my age may have baring too.

It seems to have slowed down a bit now, thankfully. But my hair still looks dull and feels dry. I bought some hair loss shampoo and serum from Amazon and I’ve spent a fortune on conditioner, so fingers crossed it’s slowed down now.


Unlike me, if you have any signs of stress, go and get them checked out, just in case it’s a sign of something more serious.

How do you deal with stress?

Lady looking out of window


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  1. Avatar 13th October 2019 / 10:52 am

    Great post! I definitely get all these things when I’m feeling stressed, especially lack of mental clarity. Another symptom is that my skin breaks out.

  2. Avatar 13th October 2019 / 2:23 pm

    Stress definitely has a huge effect on us physically. I always get sick if I have been stressed out for an extended period of time and a lot of these other symptoms ring true as well!

    • Helen
      16th October 2019 / 6:55 pm

      Aww it’s a horrible wake up sign isn’t! xo

  3. Avatar 13th October 2019 / 5:34 pm

    I have so many of these, but I’m definitely taking steps to cope better with stress – working out really does help me deal with stress better!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    • Helen
      16th October 2019 / 6:56 pm

      Working out is something I really must try to do more!xo

  4. Avatar
    13th October 2019 / 6:31 pm

    These are so important to keep an eye on! A few months ago I worked myself into a burn out and had to leave my job and I wish I had noticed these signs earlier. Apart from the hair loss, I had all of these. Definitely trying to keep an eye on how my body is reacting to my mental state from now on!

    • Helen
      16th October 2019 / 6:57 pm

      Aww hope everything has worked out since leaving your job? xo

  5. Avatar 14th October 2019 / 2:30 pm

    This is such a helpful post Helen, I also have trouble sleeping when I’m feeling stressed and anxious. Keeping a notepad by the bed is a really good idea. I hope things settle down for you soon, thanks for sharing these signs, it’s always important to pay attention to our health <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • Helen
      16th October 2019 / 6:59 pm

      Aww thanks lovely! Definitely, it’s so easy to not notice what you’re body is saying when you’re too caught up in the stress isn’t it xo

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