Ask the Doc: What are the signs I’m stressed?

Related conditions


What are the signs I’m stressed?


Stress can affect the way you feel, think and behave. 

The purpose of our ‘fight or flight’ stress response is to help us overcome the challenge that caused it, but not all challenges can be overcome. We might deal with them temporarily before they reappear, or we might become stressed in response to normal or unavoidable events. Ongoing stress can be bad for your health. Knowing your own signs and symptoms of stress can help you to recognise when you need help to overcome or cope with a problem.

Mind, a mental health organisation from England and Wales, have a useful list of signs and symptoms of stress. It includes common feelings that accompany anxiety and depression in men and boys; such as anger, irritability and a loss of interest in things.

Physical signs of stress can be caused by the hormones and nervous system activity activated in stressful situations. These include a quickening or strengthening of heartbeats, faster breathing, sweating and a heightened sense of awareness.

Long-term stress can lead to panic attacks, sleep problems, fatigue, muscle aches, chest pains, gastrointestinal upset, dizziness or fainting.

Any existing health problems you have can get worse because of stress.

Other effects of stress can include problems with concentration, memory or making decisions. Some people might bite their nails or pick at their skin when they’re stressed; or grind their teeth or clench their jaw.

Other signs of stress can be compulsive behaviours like overeating, overexercising, drinking too much, and smoking or using drugs more than usual.

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms of stress, you might benefit from reaching out to someone for help. If you notice any changes in the way you’re feeling, or your body doesn’t feel like it’s working the way it should, it’s best to see a doctor as soon as you can.

Dr. Beau Growcott

Beau Growcott

BA(Psych), GradDipPsych, MPsych (Counselling), PhD Macquarie St Psychology, Prahran VIC

Beau is a registered psychologist with both academic training and real-world experience. He has considerable experience working with clients from the LGBTIAQ+ community and is passionate about bringing mental healthcare to all men, wherever they are at on their mental healthcare journey.

  • BA(Psych), GradDipPsych, MPsych (Counselling), PhD
  • Macquarie St Psychology, Prahran VIC


Mental health
Signs I’m stressed

Did you find this page helpful?

Information provided on this website is not a substitute for medical advice

Call 000 for emergency services

If you or someone you know needs urgent medical attention.

Call MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78 for 24/7 support

MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns.

Sign up to our newsletter

We release two monthly newsletters – one written for men, family and friends, and another for health practitioners.

Your preferred mailing list

Your name

Your email

Stay up to date


Healthy Male acknowledges the traditional owners of the land. We pay our respects to elders past, present and future. We are committed to providing respectful, inclusive services and work environments where all individuals feel accepted, safe, affirmed and celebrated.


Healthy Male is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. This website does not host any form of advertisement. Information provided on this website is not a substitute for medical advice.

Trusted information partner of