You break out in hives
If you’re suddenly covered in itchy red bumps, stress (not allergies) might be to blame. When your body experiences excessive stress (for either a short or long period of time) your immune system gets wonky and your body starts releasing the chemical histamine to fight off your ailment. If the stress doesn’t go away, you essentially develop an allergic reaction and, boom, hives galore. When your immune system is weakened by stress, your skin can also become irritated by things it never used to be sensitive to, such as soap, cold or heat, lotions, or laundry detergent.
What to do: put a cool, damp towel on the affected area. if that doesn’t work, take an antihistamine.
Your weight starts to fluctuate
“Stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which impairs your body’s ability to process blood sugar and changes the way you metabolise fat, protein and carbs, which can lead to weight gain or loss,” says Dr Shanna Levine. Stress can also cause people to engage in unhealthy behaviours like overeating or undereating.
What to do: snack on nuts. The protein will help if you’re under-eating, and the fibre will fill you up if you’ve been bingeing.
You keep getting headaches
If you’ve never suffered from headaches but suddenly your head is constantly pounding, you might be too stressed. Stress releases chemicals that can cause changes to nerves and blood vessels in the brain, which brings on a headache. Prone to migraines? Stress can trigger them or make them worse. It’s also common for your muscles to tense up when you’re stressed, which can also cause a headache.
What to do: if you don’t want to take ibuprofen, try dabbing lavender oil or peppermint oil on your temples when a headache starts.