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Stress and Health

Stress and Health

Stress and tension are words which most people are familiar with. Everybody has faced or been in a stressful or tense situation. It is our reaction to any situation that frightens or worries us. These triggers vary greatly from person to person. What maybe stressful to one person, may not be stressful to another. In response to a trigger, our bodies release hormones that increase heart rate, produce rapid breathing and increase our alertness and awareness.

Stress is a normal part of life. In small quantities, stress is good -- it can motivate you and help you be more productive. However, too much stress, or a strong response to stress, is harmful. It can set you up for general poor health as well as specific physical or psychological illnesses like infection, heart disease, or depression. Persistent and unrelenting stress often leads to anxiety and unhealthy behaviors like overeating and abuse of alcohol or drugs. Emotional states like grief or depression and health conditions like an overactive thyroid, low blood sugar, or heart attack can also cause stress.

Tips to manage stress:

  1. Avoid stressful situations and avoid extremes.
  2. Change how you see the situation and react to stress.
  3. Set priorities and realistic goals.
  4. Take control of the situation and manage how stress affects you.
  5. Eat healthy, rest fully and exercise regularly.
  6. Discover new relaxation techniques, laugh, dance,walk, yoga and play.
  7. Get adequate sleep.

Remember, that effectively managing your stress can be a powerful weapon against serious illness.

Source: Medline Plus and Study Guides and Strategies.

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