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Limit Your Stress
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The biggest factor in the emotional health of most women is something that you have probably learned to deal with by now. You might not even notice stress anymore, but it still has a huge impact on your life. In order to stay emotionally healthy, keep the following things in mind. Although you can’t avoid stress altogether, you can find healthy and effective ways to manage it. If symptoms associated with stress persist and interfere with your ability to concentrate or perform, talk to your provider about alternative options and personal guidance.

Stress is the reaction that occurs in your body in response to a change in your environment. This response can be mental, emotional or physical. And it can be a reaction to a deadline, a thought, a dangerous situation—nearly anything. Women today are constantly dealing with stress. Whether you are pushing forward in your career, working on your education, raising children, planning a holiday get together, reading the newspaper, or juggling any number of different tasks—stress is on your mind. Sometimes stress is “good,” meaning that it might be a healthy response to a situation that challenges you to find solutions to problems, or to work more efficiently. This type of welcome, motivational stress is called eustress. However, there is also a negative stress called “distress” that causes unwelcome and potentially harmful responses in your body. Did you ever notice that after a long period of high-stress situations you can feel run-down or sick? That is an example of the health risks associated with too much stress. And in the world of the modern woman, there might be no way to avoid stress other than to learn the best way of dealing with it, and find balance where you can. Acute stress is a reaction to one, contained situation, such as a near accident or an argument. Chronic stress is related to long-term stressful situations, such as a bad relationship or a demanding job.

Too much stress may have adverse effects on your body, which contribute to short-term sickness and even long-term health problems. Some stress is a prolonged experience of the biological reaction in your body that has been characterized as “flight or fight.” This means that your blood pressure increases to allow blood to flow to your brain, your blood sugar rises, your blood flows to muscles instead of the digestive system, kidney and liver, your alertness increases and your heart rate quickens. These are responses that evolved in humans over many millions of years to help the body respond to a potential attack, and to survive. Today these responses to modern pressures in the home or office are not necessarily useful. Stress instead contributes to headaches, high overall blood pressure, nausea, chest pain and sleeping problems. Stress has been linked with the worsening of already existent diseases and conditions. So, if you are already sick, too much stress won’t help your body heal, and could make you feel worse.

Learn how to control your stress levels in order to prevent the negative effects on your health, and incorporate stress management techniques into your life if you notice chronic stress patterns. You can always talk to your provider about how your stress level is affecting your health. Remember that some of the best ways to combat stress are to promote a healthy lifestyle, through diet, exercise and rest.

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