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When Mental Stress Gets Physical: The Signs and Symptoms

mental stress

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it could very well be the physical signs of mental stress.

There are many ways in which mental stress manifests itself physically. It is important to remember that your brain is your body’s power source, and when your brain is hurting, it affects the rest of your body as well. Don’t allow this strain to go untreated and cause more harm than it already has. If you don’t already have a mental health professional that you see on a regular basis, it is time to start your search. There are many people who are willing to help you, even as soon as today. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it could very well be the physical signs of mental stress.

Muscle Tension

Muscle tension, especially neck pain, is often associated with mental stress that has become out-of-control. In addition to talking to your therapist, consider finding a masseuse. People in this field are in-tune with the ways in which mental stress can cause physical pain. Explain where your muscles ache, and they will provide some much-needed relief.


Headaches are another very common symptom of mental stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress is the most common cause of tension headaches. Stress can also cause migraines, which cause oversensitivity to light and sound. If tension headaches and migraines are impeding your daily life, it is time to start talking to a therapist.


Another likely physical manifestation of stress is nausea. Your stomach pain could be tied to a migraine or it could be a symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS is a digestive condition that is frequently linked to mental health issues. If you experience constant stomach pain that is paired with bowel problems, it might be a sign of a mental illness more than it is a sign of physical ailment.


When you have trouble relaxing and calming yourself, this undoubtedly leads to problematic sleeping. Whether you’re experiencing trouble falling asleep initially or staying asleep after you’ve finally relaxed, insomnia is a tell-tale sign of mental inability to relax.


Troubles with sleeping can cause serious problems in your daily life. If you’re unable to get a full night’s rest, you cannot function properly at work or school. Even if you are enjoying time with family and/or friends, you may feel like you are not altogether there because your mind isn’t working at full-capacity. Acknowledging this can lead to frustration, and in turn, even more stress. It is imperative that you sleep well and function normally during the day so that you can live your best, fullest life.

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Family Service Foundation, Inc. has been serving the greater Maryland area since 1936. This nonprofit organization helps Maryland residents across a span of different areas such as mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse, and provides interpretation for deaf and deaf-blind individuals. To learn more about cerebral palsy or other developmental disabilities, visit here.