7 Types Of Cognitive Stress Symptoms That Might Be Affecting You

Updated October 8, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Are you the type of person who seems to experience stress frequently? Maybe you find yourself worried about things at work or school or with your family or friends. Maybe you just aren't sure what's going on, but people keep telling you that you seem stressed. The truth is, stress can cause you a whole lot of problems in your life, especially when it comes to your cognitive abilities. That's one reason you'll want to seek help managing your stress as quickly as possible because you don't want to experience these things:

  1. Constant Worry

Stress Symptoms Affect Everyone Differently

If you find yourself constantly thinking about things that haven't happened yet or concerned about what it might mean if something goes wrong, then you're probably falling experiencing this symptom. Individuals who worry constantly may be concerned about things that have happened in the past that could happen again, things that haven't happened yet but might or even things that have very little probability of happening. These worries may be related to any aspect of your life and could include your personal or professional life or even both. No matter what, these individuals can find something to be concerned about, even if things seem to be going well.

  1. Forgetfulness

If you find yourself constantly forgetting about things that need to be done or that you want to get done, you may be operating under a lot of stress. You may forget about personal things or family events, or you may forget about work projects and assignments. Forgetfulness is common for many people, but when it gets to be too intense, it can cause problems in your life. Forgetting to put laundry in could mean you don't have the outfit you wanted, but forgetting the deadline of a major project could lose you a customer, or cost you your job.

  1. Disorganization

Being disorganized is another thing that a lot of people experience to some degree, but with too much stress, it can become an even bigger problem. You may find yourself losing things or getting rid of things that you need. You may find that you're constantly working on the wrong things or that you're mixing up projects because you can't keep items or documents straight. You may have a disorganized office or house or even a vehicle. Overall, you could find yourself mixing up even more simple things.

  1. Trouble Focusing

When you have too much stress, it makes it hard to focus your mind on any one thing. You might find that you're constantly being pulled in too many different directions and that you can't get the right level of focus for a single thing. This can make it difficult to accomplish anything, and that means you may not be performing well in your job or your personal life. When you struggle to focus you also struggle even with the things that you do accomplish because you might not finish them properly or you might not get things done the way they should be.

  1. Racing Thoughts

If you find that your thoughts are constantly jumping from one thing to the next so fast, you can barely understand what's going on that could be a symptom of stress as well. You may find that this ties in with struggling to focus because every time you try to do one thing you find yourself thinking about ten other things that you need to do. Or you may find yourself struggling just to relax for a few minutes because you're constantly thinking about things that may have nothing to do even with your life.

  1. Bad Judgement

Someone who is stressed is more likely to make bad decisions because they feel overwhelmed. You may find yourself saying yes to things that you know are a bad idea, or approving something just because you want to get it out of your way. You may not think about things as carefully as you normally would, and this goes for decisions in your personal life as well as in your professional life. That's another reason it's so important to work through your stress, so you don't find yourself doing something that you'll regret later, no matter how minor or serious it might be.

  1. Pessimistic Outlook

Those who experience a great deal of stress tend to have a more negative outlook on their lives. Because stress can cause things to go badly or can cause you to feel overwhelmed, it can make you expect these types of outcomes. You might find yourself expecting things to go wrong or expecting that you're not going to get what you want out of a situation. When these things happen, it can wear you down, and you end up less likely to try something new because you're convinced that it's going to go badly in the long run.

Other Things To Watch For

When it comes down to it, these are only the cognitive aspects of what stress does to your body. You'll also find several additional problems, like behavioral symptoms and physical or emotional symptoms. Any of these can compound the issues you've been facing and make your stress that much worse. They may also lead to more serious consequences with medical conditions and mental health problems.

The Dangers Of Stress

The symptoms that you experience because of stress, whether cognitive, behavioral, emotional, or physical, can all take a big toll on your health. You may find yourself getting sick with colds and even the flu more frequently, or you could find that stress is causing you even more serious problems. In fact, it could make you more susceptible to a cold or increase the chances of developing heart disease. That means you could die as a result of stress. If that's not a good enough reason to start working on lowering your stress levels, then nothing is.

When it comes to some of the side effects of stress, besides what we already talked about, you could increase your blood pressure, weaken your immune system, increase your risk of depression and anxiety and increase your fatigue. Each of these things makes your life harder and also makes it more likely that something else could happen in your life. After all, when you're not feeling your best, you're going to be at higher risk for making mistakes in any area of your life. It also makes you more prone to accidents, irritability, and more.

Where Stress Comes From

Stress Symptoms Affect Everyone Differently

We live high-stress lives now, and so, it's common for people to be stressed in their normal, daily lives. Small amounts of stress can be good and help to motivate you to accomplish tasks. High levels of chronic stress, however, can make it nearly impossible to get things done and can lead to all of the negatives we've discussed so far. But where it comes from varies from one person to the next. You might be stressed because of your job, or your family, or some combination of the two. You may experience stress because of a different mental health condition.

In general, people experience severe stress when they've been struggling with several different areas of their life for a long time. It's common to feel pulled in many different directions and to feel like you can't achieve everything. When that happens, it can result in stress, and when it goes on for too long that stress only continues to get worse. That's when you start to experience more and more of the side effects, and that's when you need to start seeking professional help to get you through.

Professional Help For Stress

If you're experiencing a lot of stress, it's time for you to seek out a professional that can help you. Learning new coping skills and uncovering just what it is in your life that's making you stressed is important, and that's where a professional can help you. They'll be able to work with you to look at the various issues in your life so you can learn more about where your stress comes from and then learn more about what you could (and should) be doing about it. After all, you want to make sure that you live a healthy and satisfying life.

BetterHelp is one way that you can get the help you're looking for and that you can reach out to someone who can get your life back on track. You shouldn't have to go to an office when you need an appointment for mental health help. Rather, you should be able to just log on from your home computer, and that's exactly what's happening here. BetterHelp is a completely online system that lets you connect with someone from anywhere in the world, as long as you have internet . Then, you just book your appointment and sign in. You'll be able to stay right where you're most comfortable and work through anything you're experiencing.

Below are commonly asked questions on this topic:

What is cognitive stress?
How does stress affect cognitive functioning?
What's an example of a cognitive stressor?
What is cognitive anxiety?
Can anxiety cause cognitive problems?
What are the cognitive symptoms?
Can your brain shut down from stress?
What are cognitive issues?
What are 5 emotional signs of stress?
What are the 3 main types of stress?

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