Managing Stress through Time in Nature

Everyone experiences stress at some point. Your body’s response to stress is helpful in many situations such as avoiding injury, keeping your energy high to meet a deadline, or waking up enough to take care of your baby in the middle of the night. However, when your stress lasts weeks or months, it becomes chronic and is extremely harmful to your body. Unfortunately, many people in our society continually live in high-stress conditions and have the health symptoms to prove it. If you live with chronic stress, the impact on your health can be minimized by recognizing your symptoms and taking steps to manage your stress and the way you respond to stressful events.

Temecula Center for Integrative Medicine

What are the signs and symptoms of stress?

This may seem easy to figure out, but there are actually many different types of problems that can be caused by stress. WebMD provides this list of common signs and symptoms of stress.

Emotional symptoms of stress include:

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody

  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control

  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind

  • Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed

  • Avoiding others

Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Low energy

  • Headaches

  • Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea

  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles

  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat

  • Insomnia

  • Frequent colds and infections

  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability

  • Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet

  • Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing

  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth

Cognitive symptoms of stress include:

  • Constant worrying

  • Racing thoughts

  • Forgetfulness and disorganization

  • Inability to focus

  • Poor judgment

  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

Behavioral symptoms of stress include:

  • Changes in appetite -- either not eating or eating too much

  • Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities