A person sitting on the sofa with his head down in stress and anxiety

Breaking Down Stress: From Signs to Impact on Mental Health

Stress is the feeling of being under excessive mental, emotional or physical pressure. When you're under stress, your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline.

Stress is the body's response to coping with pressure or threat. It is sometimes known to be the "fight or flight" reaction. Stress hormone levels usually return to normal once the pressure, threat or stressor is gone.

A little stress can be beneficial as it can motivate you to complete tasks and take action accordingly. Moreover, it can also make you feel alive and excited. Although too much stress can negatively impact your life and mental health, such effects can be mood changes, body changes, and relationship problems.

Signs of Stress

Stress can affect different people in several ways. Here, we list some of the most common signs of stress. 


Mental effects

Physical effects

Behavioural effects

Imagining the worst outcome

Abnormal sweating

Appetite imbalance

Excessive worrying about the future or past

Headaches or an unfocused mind

Crying and sobbing

Less concentration

Muscle pain and tension

Avoiding people and duties


Gut problems

Nail biting

Repetitive or racing thoughts

Sexual problems

Rushing through tasks

Irritable feeling

Fatigued, tired or dizzy feeling

Sleep-related issues

Feeling low or sad

Shortness of breath

Being angry or snappy

Mixed thoughts

Fast heartbeat

Intoxication (Drinking, smoking or more)

Making mistakes

Dryness in mouth

Being Irritated


An upset woman in stress and depression

What causes Stress?

Almost anything that affects your daily life, work, or relationships can root stress. Even minor problems can cause stress if they persist for a longer time. Some people are more susceptible to stress than others, depending on diverse factors like personality, upbringing, work, and personal life.

Events and situations that appear cheerful such as getting married or giving birth can also cause stress to many people. If these situations make you feel stressed, it might become hard for you to figure out the cause behind it. It may feel like you have no one to talk to about your feelings or emotions. However, as per human nature, it's pretty common to feel stressed in such situations.

Here are some examples of events and situations that cause stress:




Diagnosed with illness

Not getting quality sleep

Getting married or divorced

Being jobless

Job interview

Work-related problems

Passing away of someone close

Being harassed or bullied

Evicted from your house

Money problems

Being in a hospital for a long time

Health problems

Court hearings

Family feuds or relationship problems


Can stress become a mental illness?

Stress itself is not an illness, but it can make you sick. For example, prolonged stress can lead to depression and anxiety. Experiencing a traumatic or stressful event can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Stress can exacerbate existing mental illness and can provoke a psychotic relapse.

You may tend to use medications to manage your stress. However, if you do it regularly, then it's always recommended to seek help from a psychiatrist. Short-term use of medications can help you cope, but in the long run, it can worsen your mental health.

Self Help is the Best Help!

There are numerous things you can do to reduce stress symptoms. This is also called self-care. There is no set process for where to start and what one should do because everyone's mental health is different.

You may have to try several things until you find one that works.

Connect with others

When you're stressed and frustrated, your instinct may be to isolate yourself from the outer world. Instead, reach out and socialise with family and friends. Socialising is a great stress reliever because it provides distraction, offers support, and helps you cope with life's ups and downs. So, have a coffee break with friends, text a relative, or visit places of worship.

Do you have more time on your hand? Consider volunteering for charities and helping yourself by helping others.

Yoga for everyone

A series of poses and controlled breathing techniques make yoga a popular stress reliever. Yoga unites mental and physical disciplines that help calm the mind and body. Yoga can help you relax and manage stress levels in a significant way.

Hatha yoga, in particular, is considerable for relieving stress due to its slow pace and light movements.

A stress-free man doing a yoga pose

Be musical and creative

Listening or playing music is a great stress reliever because it provides a mental distraction, relieves muscle tension and can reduce stress hormones.

If music isn't your thing, pick up another hobby that you love, like gardening, sewing, sketching - anything that forces you to focus on what you are doing. Becoming productive is the key to a stress-free life.

Seek therapy or counselling

If new stressors are challenging your coping abilities, or if self-help activities are not reducing stress, you may need to seek reinforcement through therapy or counselling. Therapy is also a good idea if you're overly worried or having trouble completing daily tasks or chores at work, home, or school. A professional therapist or counsellor can help you identify the source of your stress and learn new ways to cope with it.

Adopt Ayurveda in life

The Ayurvedic approach to stress and many health problems is based on imbalances in our energetic properties - the doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha).

In Ayurveda, stress is primarily viewed as a disturbance of Vata dosha, the energy formed from the air and space elements. Vata dosha is closely associated with the nervous system, and while a bit of stress can be beneficial for short-term flare-ups, long-term stress can be devastating to the mind and body. It is an unwanted and negative effect that we commonly know as stress. Continuous fine-tuning of Vata balance is a primary focus in managing physical and mental stress and supporting health & longevity.

Try Preserva WellnessDaily Calm Tea, a perfect combination of Ayurvedic calming herbs and flowers such as Valerian Root, Lavender Flower, Chamomile Flower, Licorice, and other powerful ingredients that support and promote calmness in stressful situations. This fragrant tea is a natural relaxant that helps calm the nerves, manage symptoms of stress & anxiety, and help you sleep better than ever before. For more product information, visit Preserva's website to start your stress-free journey today!
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