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How Much Do You Know About Stress?

Feb 10, 2008
What is stress? Stress is the way you react physically, mentally, and emotionally to various conditions, changes, and demands in your life.

Stress is part and parcel of common life events, both large and small. It comes with all of daily life hassles as well as with crises and life-changing events. Unless you can regularly release the tension that comes with stress, your risk for physical and mental illness may increase.

Researches show that some people are more vulnerable to stress than others. Older adults such as women in general especially working mothers and pregnant women, less educated people, divorced or widowed people, people experiencing financial strains from long term unemployment, people who are the targets of discrimination, and people who simply live in cities all seem to be particularly susceptible to health-related stress problems.

People who are less emotionally stable or have high anxiety levels tend to experience certain events as more stressful than healthy people do. People who lack an established network with family and friends will likely have more stress-related health problems such as hearth disease and infections than others.

Job-related stress is likely to be chronic because it is such a large part of life. Stress reduces worker effectiveness by impairing concentration, causing sleeplessness and increasing the risk of illness, back problems, accidents and lost time. At its worst extremes, stress that places a burden on our hearths and circulation can often be fatal.

What stress does to the body? At the first sign of alarm, chemicals released by the pituitary and adrenal glands and the nerve endings automatically trigger these physical reactions to stress. These include:

Your heart rate increases to move blood to your muscles and brain.
Your blood pressure goes up.
You start to breathe more rapidly.
Your digestion slows down.
You start to perspire more heavily.
Your pupils dilate.
You feel a rush of strength.

Your body is tense, alert, and ready for action and will stay this way until you feel that the danger has passed. Then your brain signals an all clear to your body, and your body stops producing the chemicals that caused the physical reaction and gradually returns to normal.

Problems with stress occur when your brain fails to give the all clear signal. If the alarm state lasts too long, you begin to suffer from the consequences of chronic stress. By changing the way you respond to stressful situations and finding ways to regularly relieve the tension caused by stress, you can decrease your risk for stress-related health problem.
About the Author
Joe Steven is health researcher. He conducts many researches about stress relief. Find out how you can get rid of stress naturally in no time at
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