Facts about stress (and how to beat it)

Archive, August, Month

A natural response, stress can actually be good, but too much can be troubling.

Stress, something everyone feels, is not an emotion or a feeling.

Stress, in fact, is a response — it’s the body’s response to cope with external changes, ones that may present a challenge, especially if it’s a form of adversity.

It’s a natural reaction — it’s part of the body’s design. And it’s not always a detriment to your health. Short periods of stress can keep people alert and able to respond to sudden situations.

Stress, though, becomes a concern when it’s prolonged and without relief for extended periods of time, and it can lead to some serious health complication:

  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased risk for heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Weakened immune system
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Stomach distress
  • Tense muscles

One person’s reaction to their stressors might differ from another’s, but most people can expect to experience:

  • Feeling unexplained aches and pains
  • Sensation of a racing heart
  • Regular headaches and/or dizziness
  • Shaking
  • Digestive issues
  • Trouble sleeping

If these symptoms have become a “normal” and almost expected part of life, occurring more and more, the time’s come to see a doctor.

Before reaching that point, though, there are activities to help people de-stress, relax and address some of those worrisome symptoms.

  • Regular exercise
  • Natural supplements
  • Soothing music, scents and meditation
  • Reduced caffeine consumption
  • Spending time with friends, family and pets
  • Avoiding taking on additional responsibilities