Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to. Stress is a fact of life for most people, and it affects everyone differently. What causes stress for you may not be stressful for someone else.
A lot of things can cause stress. You may feel stress when you go on a job interview, take a test, or run a race. This kind of short-term stress is normal and even useful. It can help you if you need to work hard or react quickly. For example, stress can help you finish an important job on time.
Stress also can last a long time. Long-term stress is caused by stressful situations or events. Examples of long-term stress include long-term health problems, ongoing problems at work, or conflicts in your family. Long-term stress can harm your health.
When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. This is called the fight-or-flight stress response. If the stress is over quickly, your body goes back to normal and no harm is done.
But if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have bad effects. Long-term stress can make you more likely to get sick, and it can make symptoms of some diseases worse. If you tense up when you are stressed, you may develop neck, shoulder, or low back pain. Stress is linked to high blood pressure and heart disease.
Stress also harms your emotional health. It can make you moody, tense, or depressed. Your relationships may suffer, and you may not do well at work or school.
How to relax your mind
How to relax your body
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Current as of: July 26, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado, PhD - Behavioral Health
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