Stress symptoms may be affecting your health, even though you might not realize it. You may think illness is to blame for that nagging headache, your frequent insomnia or your decreased productivity at work. But stress may actually be the culprit. Common effects of stress Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. You can notice it in your body when you have headaches, muscle tension, sleep problems and even a change in your sex drive. You might also be anxious, irritable, or just sad. People with stress can also tend to overeat/undereat, drink more alcohol and even withdraw themselves. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that's left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.