University Life Café

The Bookshelf → Stress Warning Signals

Preview Points

  • Being aware of stress warning signs may be helpful to identify the presence of stress.
  • Different types of stress warning signs may co-exist and may stem from physical, behavioral, emotional and cognitive realms.


There may be a number of stress warning signs that are physical, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive.


  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Stomachaches
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Back pain
  • Tight neck, shoulders
  • Racing heart
  • Restlessness
  • Tiredness
  • Ringing in ears


  • Excess smoking
  • Bossiness
  • Compulsive eating
  • Attitude critical of others
  • Grinding of teeth
  • Overuse of alcohol
  • Not eating
  • Inability to finish homework, etc.


  • Crying easily
  • Nervousness, anxiety
  • Boredom
  • Edginess
  • Easily upset
  • Overwhelming pressure
  • Anger
  • Loneliness
  • Unhappiness


  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Lack of concentration
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of creativity
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Constant worry
  • Loss of humor
  • These symptoms may be associated with causes other than stress. Consult with a physician if these persist over time.

Concluding Points

  • It may help to reach out to friends, family and acquaintances who may be displaying these signs of stress.
  • If one sees these signs in oneself, it may help to make changes to one’s life to deal with the stressors.
  • It may help to build resilience here.


Benson, H. (1992). Wellness Book. Boston: Birch Lane Press.

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