Chronic Stress, Overthinking and Worry

What is Chronic Stress, Overthinking and Worry?

From the outside looking in, it can be difficult to spot the differences between stress and anxiety. Both can lead to sleepless nights, exhaustion, excessive worry, lack of focus, and irritability. Even physical symptoms, such as, rapid heart rate, muscle tension, and headaches can impact people experiencing stress and those diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. In short, stress is your body’s reaction to a trigger and is generally a short-term experience. Stress can be positive or negative. When stress kicks in, the purpose is to motivate you to get important things done, and in that case, it is a positive. When stress results in insomnia, poor concentration, and impaired ability to do the things you normally do, it’s negative. Stress is a response to a threat in any given situation.

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Stress, Overthinking& Worry

There are a number of emotional and physical disorders linked to stress, including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, strokes, gastrointestinal distress, obesity, and hypertension, to name a few. High levels of stress can wreak havoc on the mind and the body. While stress can manifest in many ways, it helps to know a few common symptoms:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Back and/or neck pain
  • Sweaty palms or feet
  • Frequent illness
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Poor concentration
  • Low energy

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Feeling light-headed, faint, or dizzy
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Irritability
  • Excessive worry
  • Muscle Tension
  • Having difficulty quieting the mind
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of sexual desire

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Stress, Overthinking & Worry

The simple definition of overthinking is to think about something too much or for too long. A lot of people, on hearing this definition, would think that they have this disorder. After all, who doesn’t go a single day without overthinking something? We wonder if we’re making the right choices from small things like if we chose the fastest route on our commute that morning or chose the right restaurant for dinner to things like our children’s wellbeing and our family’s safety and security. We wonder about everything happening in our lives. But that’s actually normal. It’s normal to wonder and to worry and to overthink to some extent. You might be overly concerned with what you said or did to somebody. You may be worried about performing at school or work. You might be concerned about how others see you. These are all examples of how you might engage in overthinking. Other examples of overthinking disorder include;

Signs and Symptoms of Stress, Overthinking & Worry

  • When you are obsessing over what you should have said or done
  • Performance anxiety, or worrying about how you measure up to others at work
  • Engaging in “what-if” scenarios where you consider what could happen in a variety of circumstances
  • Catastrophizing or thinking the worse will happen
  • Worrying about having a panic attack unexpectedly
  • Intrusive or obsessive thoughts

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