Psychological Signs of Stress

Some of the hardest signs to see are the mental or psychological signs of stress. The feelings you have and emotions you experience are hidden to others around you, and you might not be able to recognize them yourself!

So to start light: One of the easiest emotions to discover is sadness. This is because the changes you experience when being sad are big compared to say irritability.

Once you become sad, everything changes. Maybe (or hopefully) not for long but the changes are very noticeable and so you become aware of what you are feeling.

This is also one of the hardest emotions to hide from others. How often have you not thought to yourself "she looks sad" or "looks like he's having a bad day". Even men, who are very good at hiding emotions compared to women, show sadness more often than other feelings.

This also means that men are worse off than women when they try to see the psychological signs.

Note: I say "hide emotions" here, but it is often not a conscious choice. Often we simply don't show them because we are incapable of it or we don't want to.
The most felt emotions are some form of negative arousal, such as anger, annoyance or irritation. But we are so used to them, that a lot of the times we automatically send a smile instead of expressing our negative emotions.

This is also a basic survival mechanism - it wouldn't be good to express anger to a bigger or stronger rival!!

The point here is that the psychological signs of stress are hidden and you sometimes have to look deep to see them.

Below is a list of the most common psychological signs of stress:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Lack of joy
  • Self-doubt (feeling inadequate or unaccomplished)
  • Fears (also known as anxiety)
  • Indecisiveness (unable to make a decision)
  • Anger
  • Pain (pain is something that our brain creates, so a psychological effect of stress may well be the feeling of physical pain)
All of the above are just some of en most common signs to look out for. If you see them - and I bet you do sometimes - don't panic!

There are several ways to relieve your stress - also one that fits your life! You can start by finding you psychological signs of stress in the causes of stress article and by downloading and using the stressor chart.

After that, read more about relieving stress on these pages