Stress has become an omnipresent component in everybody’s life and we are constantly looking ways to de-stress ourselves.

While few take up meditation, deep breathing or long walks with their loved ones to find peace, stress be it physical, mental or emotional seems to be taking over everyone, irrespective of the age and gender.

Unfortunately, few of us may come across as very cool-headed and often fail to realize how stress and pressure issues are taking a toll on the health. Stress doesn’t come announced, it often is a silent killer. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, 90 per cent of illness and disease is stress related.

Here are some sure signs to tell if you’re stressed:

Feeling sick Always: Are you feeling perpetually sick with no specific ailment to worry about? Studies reveal that when under extreme pressure the human body releases a hormone ‘cortisol’ that helps us in short term for a relief. However, if we are regularly stressed the hormone levels deplete making us more susceptible to sickness and making us feel tired all the time.

Trouble focusing: If you are unable to focus even on the most pressing issues in life, you’re stressed. Studies suggest that long term exposure to Cortisol shrinks hippocampus, the brain’s memory center affecting the levels of focus. It may also stimulate proteins that cause Alzheimer’s in the old age.

Nagging Headache: If you are experiencing a throbbing pain in the head or in the temple region, it is most probably a tension headache. The main culprit behind this headache which often mimics migraine could be lifestyle. If this headache recurs on a daily basis, see a doctor immediately.

Neck and Backache: Most of us tend to blame neck and backache on bad sitting or sleeping postures but it could be high levels of stress and tension as they cause discomfort and pain by tightening muscles. If you developed back pain after an accident or an emotional trauma it could be a sign of post-traumatic disorder.

Hair Loss: If you are experiencing loss of hair or losing it in small patches on the scalp, you might at the risk of Alopecia Aerate. Though it is not dangerous, it is likely to be associated with some sever stressor like an assault or trauma. Women and adolescent girls are more prone to this condition.