Stress is the physical, mental and emotional reaction you experience as a result of changes and demands in your life. Stress can trigger the body’s response to perceived threat or danger, the fight or flight response. However, not all types of stress are harmful or even negative. Some stress is normal and even useful at times. Stress can help you finish an important task or react quickly to an emergency. The concern comes when stress occurs too often or lasts too long, which can have negative effects on your health. Ongoing stress can affect your body, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. In fact, according to Mayo Clinic, stress that is left unchecked can contribute to health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Stress can’t be completely avoided, but there are ways to cope with it:
- Learn to better manage your time.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Don’t smoke.
- Learn to say no.
- Express your feelings.
- Ask for help.
Learn to recognize what events or activities cause your stress and take steps to manage them. If you feel you are not able to manage your stress on your own, talk with your doctor.