Don’t Let Stress Take Over Your Life

It may be hard to believe, but stress is supposed to be good for you. That is, the stress response is designed to help you deal with short-term physical threats such as predators.

However, your body can’t tell the difference between stress caused by a predator and stress caused bysomething mundane, such as your job. Not only that, but the stress response—a rush of energy, a reduced immune response in order to divert resources to dealing with the stressor—is not meant to be long-term. The hormonal surge can, if sustained, ultimately be harmful.

Long-term stress is associated with heart disease, trouble sleeping, menstrual problems, depression and obesity, and can exacerbate eczema and other skin conditions. That’s why it’s important to manage stress and stay calm in ordinary circumstances.

Stress can be managed through changes in attitude, though that’s easier said than done. However, it can be helpful to try to learn to let things go. Not everything is important. Time management is also part of stress management. Learning to say no to things, when you can, will help clear your schedule and let you focus on things you do need and want to do.

Relaxation also helps. That could mean a massage, or it could be simply taking a few deep breaths and stretching. Carve out a little time for yourself to ease some of the pressure.

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