A stressed-out woman standing behind a white curtain.

6 Signs Your Stress Could Be Turning Into Something More Serious

by Zach Chen
Nicole Mason

Stress is an experience that everyone is susceptible to throughout the course of life.

A period of intense workload, a setback, a traumatic encounter or an unforeseen circumstance can all be triggers for stress.

While individual thresholds vary from person to person, understanding how you can assess stress in your life is key to a healthy life.

To distinguish between acceptable levels of stress and debilitating amounts of stress, you have to look out for telltale signs of danger.

1. Low productivity

Stress is like a dumbbell hanging over your neck. The more stress you are exposed to, the heavier the dumbbell will hang over you.

A healthy level of stress provides some driving force for work. As the stress increases beyond normal acceptable limits, your ability to do work might face a decline.

If you sense that your productivity is subpar for more than a few days in a row, you might want to start reassessing how much stress you are taking at the moment.

2. Chronic negativity

Unhealthy levels of stress might shift your perceptions and narrow your perspectives.

Under unhealthy levels of stress, your mental discomfort puts you in a perpetual darker outlook for life. You are more likely to whine, complain, blame or worry about issues.

You are more pessimistic and less able to draw energy for daily activities. Look out for these signs that tell you that you may be in for more than the normal stress that you can handle.

3. Withdrawal from social interaction

No man is an island.

Social interaction keeps life interesting and lively. Chatting, doing things with others and spending quality time with friends and family are part and parcel of what keeps us sane.

When all is said and done, no one would remember how much you earned or what promotions you get at work.

It is the relationships you establish that makes life colorful.

If you begin to feel the constant need for isolation and stop interacting with others, it may be a red flag for concern.

4. Disruption of sleep pattern

That occasional peak period of work or newborn baby may cause some disruption to your sleep.

Some people manifest their reaction to extreme stress with insomnia, while others become listless and need longer duration of sleep than average.

However, when your stress begins to prevent you from sleeping well every night or makes you sleepy all the time, it would be detrimental to your life.

Rest, like they say, is to recharge you to be ready for new challenges every day.

If something as basic as rest become a luxury for your life due to stress, it is time to seek help.

5. Change of appetite

Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. No matter which category you belong to, you will still be hungry and enjoy food like everyone else.

A person who is excessively stressed for long periods of time may start to have drastic changes in appetite.

Some react with low appetite and lose weight. Others go on a binge and put on extra pounds.

Be wary when your appetite goes for a pendulum swing, as that might signal trouble.

6. Reduced libido

Sexual desire is part of a healthy life and a good stress reliever, too.

Making love gives your emotional contentment and sense of well-being.

When stress in your life has such pervading reach that it dampens your libido, it infringes on your emotional and sexual health.

Next time you feel a vacuum period of lack of lust, pay attention to whether it's a love issue or it's an issue of immense stress.