Quels sont les symptômes du stress chronique ? (symptômes physiques et psychiques)

What are the symptoms of chronic stress? (physical and psychological symptoms)

Everyone is subject to the daily stress to some degree. It can be linked to tensions at work, relationship problems, financial worries and many other factors.

Although stress can be a driving force for boost our capacities (the right kind of stress), it can have harmful effects on our physical health, mental and emotional when it becomes chronic or exceeds a certain level.

In this article, we will talk about symptoms of stresssymptoms warning signs and natural solutions to manage it on a daily basis!

What is stress?

The World Health Organization defines stress as: "a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation" or as "a condition that arises when our personal management strategies are overwhelmed by the demands placed on them" [1].

Chronic stress

Stress is anatural reaction reaction that prepares the body to deal with stress. a threatening situationa change of environment...

However, when exceeds a certain threshold or extends over timethe stress becomes pathological. We then speak of "bad stress and it is necessary to implement various strategies to combat it effectively.

What are the symptoms of stress?

Visit stress manifests itself differently from one person to another. It can cause a wide variety of symptoms.

Visit symptoms of stress can be grouped into 3 categories:

  • Physical symptoms,
  • Emotional symptoms,
  • Cognitive symptoms.

Physical symptoms of stress

The stressby disrupting the functioning of the entire body, in particular by promoting inflammation and provoking hormonal changescan manifest itself as physical symptoms.

stress headache

Here are just a few physical symptoms of stress:

  • Headaches: stress promotes tension in the muscles of the head and neck (trapezius, temporalis, masseter...), which can lead to headaches. headaches known as "tension headaches.
  • Muscle pain: stress can cause tension throughout the body (legs, back, shoulders, neck...).
  • Joint pain: increased levels of inflammation in the body caused by stress promotes or aggravates joint pain.
  • Digestive disorders: stress is frequently implicated in various gastrointestinal problems such as stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea...
  • Sleep disorders: stress alters quality of sleep and can lead to sleep disorders such as difficulty in falling asleep, insomnia, night-time awakenings and nightmares.
  • Fatigue: stress is often at the root of fatigue. abnormal fatigue even after a good night's sleep.
  • Weight changes: stress can lead to weight loss in some people (through loss of appetite or anorexia), a loss of energy weight gain in others (through increased appetite or bulimia).
  • Decreased libido: Stress is one of the main factors behind a drop in libido (sexual desire), in both men and women.
  • Other physical symptoms: cardiovascular manifestations (increased heart rate, blood vessel dysfunction, dizziness, etc.), stomach ulcers, choking, hot flashes, addiction to certain toxic substances (tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, drugs...), physical exhaustion, intestinal transit disturbances, etc.

Emotional symptoms of stress

 

Stress anxiety

Stress can also be recognized by the many symptoms associated with emotions it provokes, including :

  • Anxiety: Stress and anxiety are two closely related phenomena. People under stress are generallyanxious and excessively preoccupied or worried.
  • Depression: Excessive stress can lead to sadness, melancholy and a loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable.
  • Irritability and nervousness: Stress makes you irritable and nervous, which frequently leads to conflicts with those close to you (family, friends, colleagues...).
  • Anger: Accumulated stress can lead to outbursts of anger, even outbursts of rage. fits of rage!
  • A feeling of isolation: Chronic stress can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, even if the person is well surrounded.
  • Low self-esteem: on the one hand, stress can be the cause of low self-esteem self-esteem. On the other hand, low self-esteem can lead to stress. It's a vicious circle that needs to be broken!

Cognitive symptoms of stress

 

Cognitive stress Memory problems

The stress is very often the cause ofnegative effects on our brain and our cognitive functions. It can lead to :

  • Difficulty concentrating : the stressed person may find it more difficult to stay focused, which considerably disrupts academic activities (difficulty following lessons...), professional activities (losing track during a work meeting...), personal activities (difficulty following the plot of a film...).
  • Memory problems: stress increases the frequency of memory lapses and the ability to retain information (even the simplest).
  • Impaired judgment: stress prevents the brain from functioning properly, making it difficult to reason, make decisions, analyze situations...
  • Negative thoughts: Stress and anxiety encourage negative thoughts and catastrophic scenarios. In extreme cases (acute or intense stress), negative thoughts can becomesuicidal thoughts (and, in some cases, actually do it!).

How to manage chronic stress symptoms?

There are a number of general measures to apply on a daily basis to keep stress at acceptable levels. Here are just a few of them:

  • Exercise: Physical exercise is excellent for reducing stress and improving your mood, thanks to the release of endorphins in your body, hormones that give you a feeling of extreme well-being and fulfillment.
  • Eat well: A healthy diet (balanced and varied) is very important in combating certain dietary deficiencies that promote stress (notably magnesium deficiency).
  • Sleep well: It's important to get enough good-quality sleep to combat stress.
  • Relax: It's essential to let go and relax as often as possible to maintain physical, mental and emotional balance. You can do this by exercising, or by adopting one of the many relaxation techniques available, such as visualization, mindfulness meditation, yoga, sophrology (breathing techniques)...
  • Managing your time : Good time management can help reduce stress. By planning your various tasks and avoiding last-minute deadlines, you can keep control of your life and stay away from stress.
  • Surround yourself well: Surround yourself with positive people, those who soothe and support you, and stay as far away as possible from negative, toxic people who drag you down!
Stress relaxation

You need to find what works best for you in terms of stress management. Don't hesitate to try different methods and adopt the ones that suit you best.

Don't hesitate to seek professional help (doctors, psychologists...) if you can't manage your stress despite your best efforts.

Natural solutions for better stress management

In addition to general measures listed above, you can also take advantage of certain natural solutions highly effective in the fight against stress :

Magnesium

Magnesium magnesium is a essential mineral that plays an important role in many of the body's functions, including nervous system regulation and stress reduction.

By helping to regulate the release of cortisola stress hormone, this mineral contributes to reduce stress levelsimprove mood and enhance sleep quality.

You can therefore take magnesium in the form of a dietary supplement as a course of treatment to reduce stress, preferably by opting for magnesium bisglycinate.

In fact magnesium bisglycinatemagnesium bound to the amino acid glycineis a form of magnesium highly bioavailable form of magnesiumwhich means it is easily absorbed by the body.

magnesium bisglycinate
Magnesium Bisglycinate

 

Magnesium bisglycinate is also highly effective in reducing stress, thanks to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrierThis enables it to exert its soothing effects directly on the brain.

Tyrosine

The tyrosine is an important amino acid involved in the production of several neurotransmitters, including dopamine, norepinephrine and adrenaline, which are associated with the regulation of mood, motivation and the immune system. stress.

The tyrosine-based dietary supplements have the potential to help reduce stress by regulating the production of these neurotransmitters.

Studies have shown that tyrosine supplementation can improve mental and physical performance in stressful situations, such as exams or intense exercise [2] - [4].

L-Tyrosine
L-Tyrosine - Well-being - Dopamine

 

 

Ashwagandha

L'ashwagandhaor Withania somniferais a traditional Indian plant that has been used for centuries to its properties adaptogenicadaptogenic properties, i.e. its ability to help the body adapt to physical and mental stress.

This plant is capable of reduce stress by regulating cortisol levelsthe stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands.

In fact, some high levels of cortisol can have adverse health consequences, such as increased stress, anxiety, insomnia and depression. By reducing cortisol levels, ashwagandha can help to improve the body's response to stress.

Ashwagandha adaptogenic plant
Ashwagandha - Universal adaptogen

 

In addition, ashwagandha contains bioactive compounds called withanolides. These, by regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenalin - which are involved in mood regulation - have positive effects on stress and anxiety.

Moreover, by regulating the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone), ashwagandha can help to improve sleep qualitywhich can also help reduce stress and anxiety.

Sources

  1. "Stress". https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/stress (accessed March 7, 2023).
  2. J. B. Deijen, C. J. E. Wientjes, H. F. M. Vullinghs, P. A. Cloin, and J. J. Langefeld, "Tyrosine improves cognitive performance and reduces blood pressure in cadets after one week of a combat training course." Brain Research Bulletinvol. 48, no 2, pp. 203-209, Jan. 1999, doi: 10.1016/S0361-9230(98)00163-4.
  3. D. F. Neri, D. Wiegmann, R. R. Stanny, S. A. Shappell, A. McCardie, and D. L. McKay, "The effects of tyrosine on cognitive performance during extended wakefulness", Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicinevol. 66, pp. 313-319, 1995.
  4. T. D. Chinevere, R. D. Sawyer, A. R. Creer, R. K. Conlee, and A. C. Parcell, "Effects of l-tyrosine and carbohydrate ingestion on endurance exercise performance", Journal of Applied Physiologyvol. 93, no.o 5, pp. 1590-1597, Nov. 2002, doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00625.2001.
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