Stress is a normal feeling – everybody feels it at some point in their lives (now, possibly more than ever). But when does stress start to become a problem? You may feel stress over one particular thing, but often stress is like a glass of water: drops keep dripping in until the last one makes the glass spill over… and that anxious feeling sets in.

Here are the top 10 signs you are feeling stressed or anxious:

  1. You aren’t sleeping, or you’re craving way too much sleep. Sleep patterns are usually regular, although when you’re a teen they can be a little unpredictable at the best of times. But staying up all night with racing thoughts or worry is a huge indicator that you are feeling anxiety.
  2. You are having frequent headaches and/or stomach aches. These are very typical signs of anxiety and stress, and are an example of how stress can manifest in physical symptoms.
  3. Your grades are slipping. Often, people’s performance at school (and work) can be attributed to a busy, stressed out brain. It is hard to keep your thoughts on track when you have a lot going on.
  4. You are feeling irritable and moody. Laughing one minute, crying the next… or even snapping at loved ones and friends; these are signs that you are feeling some tension within. Unintentionally crying very easily, or having very emotional outbursts, are also symptoms of being anxious.
  5. You’re not your own biggest fan. Often, when people are feeling stress and anxiety, they speak about themselves negatively. “I am an idiot!” “Why would they like me?” “I’m so fat.” People tend to beat themselves up a bit in stressful periods.
  6. stressful periods.
  7. You feel worried… constantly. Even the smallest things can trigger panic-inducing worry… including events that are far off in the future.
  8. You are feeling sick more than you normally would. When you have overwhelming amounts of stress or anxiety, it affects your body’s immune system, and you may get more illnesses.
  9. You are uncharacteristically turning to negative habits. Smoking, drinking, binge eating, and drugs are all negative coping mechanisms that some people find themselves turning to in stressful times. These are all extremely short term solutions, and should not be considered a positive method of help.
  10. You are having panic attacks. When you have a panic attack, you can feel breathless and helpless.

Stress and anxiety can be eased with help. Read our blog on positive mental health strategies here.

One of the best first steps, is to recognize that you or someone you know is feeling this way, and talk to someone about it. Reaching out to a friend, parent, co-worker, or teacher, for help is always a great idea.


Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (24 hours)

Distress Line: 780-482-4357 (HELP)

Click here to visit the Bell Let’s Talk website.

*This article is not intended as medical advice. If you are experiencing any of the above, please consult a doctor.