Nonverbal Signs of Stress and Anxiety

Are you stressed or in anxiety? Do you know how your body displays these mental states?

There are situations when a person suffer from stress or anxiety. All human beings face and experience these two mental states in their life. These two emotions are integral part of our life. If you are keen in observations, you can understand the signs of stress or anxiety of other people around you. At the same time, if you also are in these type of mental condition and need to hide these feeling, you need to know the signs of stress or anxiety.

Some of the possible signs of stress or anxiety are given below:

1.    Shoulders get tensed and raised. Stress and anxiety form some tension in muscles of our upper body and that get exposed through our shoulders.
2.    Excessive self face touching.
3.    Nail biting, scratching.
4.    Lip biting.
5.    Looking upward.
It is a sign of seeking help from Almighty.
6.    Unnecessary laughing.
As a response of stressed nerves, some people display this.
7.    Wider eyes.
As a response to surprise or shock, we generally do this. But doing it for a longer period is a sign of fear or stress.
8.    Shaking hands.
It is prompted by adrenaline.
9.    Excessive swallowing.
Adrenaline dries the throat area and thereby a stressed person keeps on swallowing to get rid of dried throat.
10.   Puffing.
11.   Pacing.
12.   Fiddling.
13.   Tapping.
14.   Folded arms.
Folded arms show a self hugging attitude and it happens once a person is in stress.
15.    Looking toward the exit route.
It reflects the desire to get rid of the situation.

16. Frequent Smoking. If the person is a smoker, he or she will smoke frequently with strong puffs.

There are many more. But this small list contains the common signs of stress or anxiety. With a keen look, we can now point out the people around us in these mental states.


James, Judi. (2009). The Body Language Rules. Illinois. Sourcebooks Inc.

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  1. Good Post

  2. Can u please explain further for me the signs of stress and anxiety you mentioned in serial 6 and 8 please.

  3. @ Sagar Chowdhury

    Serial 6:
    This is focusing the hysterical laughing. Its symptoms are great sensitiveness to external impressions. People laugh and cry alternatively; the face flushes on the slightest emotion and the person keeps laughing for nothing. More details are at

    Serial 8:
    When we are anxious, we face a range of physical symptoms. These happen because of our body’s so-called ‘fight or flight’ response, which is caused by the release of the stress hormone adrenaline. The symptoms can include:
    • discomfort in our abdomen (tummy)
    • dry mouth
    • rapid heartbeat or palpitations
    • tightness or pain in our chest
    • shortness of breath
    • dizziness
    • needing to urinate more often than usual
    • swallowing
    • shaking

    Hope it meet your requirement. Many many thanks for your comment. Keep it up. Have a great day.

  4. Great rundown. Thanks!

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