Reviewed by Laura Martin on October 22, 2016
National Institute for Mental Health: "Fact Sheet on Stress."; Mayo Clinic: "Chronic Stress Puts Your Health at Risk."; Mayo Clinic: "Stress Symptoms: Effects on Your Body and Behavior."; American Academy of Dermatology: Adult Acne."; Mayo Clinic: "Eye Twitching."; UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders: "Stress and the Gut."; Pixeldust Studios; AudioJungle
© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
It can give you a bunch of aches and pains. Muscle tension, chest pain, and headaches are all side effects of prolonged stress.
You may have other unpredictable physical symptoms. Eye twitches, pimples, fatigue, and changes in sex drive could mean your body is trying to tell you to slow down and take a breather.
Your behavior can change. Anger, outbursts, or keeping away from friends could all be a result of stress overload. Over and under eating are both signs your tension level could be too high.
It's easier to get sick. Stress puts a ding in your immune system, making it easier to catch a cold or the flu and also making some vaccines less effective.
If it goes on too long, stress can lead to obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and anxiety disorder. If you feel your stress level is higher than normal, talk to your doctor.