Stress is a feeling you get when faced with a challenge.
In small doses, stress can be good for you because it makes you more alert and gives you a burst of energy. For instance, if you start to cross the street and see a car about to run you over, that jolt you feel helps you to jump out of the way before you get hit. But feeling stressed for a long time can take a toll on your mental and physical health.
Stress can be short-term or long-term. Missing the bus or arguing with your spouse or partner can cause short-term stress. Money problems or trouble at work can cause long-term stress. Even happy events, like having a baby or getting married can cause stress. Some of the most common stressful life events include:
Everyone responds to stress a little differently. Your symptoms may be different from someone else's. Here are some of the signs to look for:
These symptoms may also be signs of depression or anxiety, which can be caused by long-term stress.
The emotional problems caused by stress – anxiety, guilt and big mood swings – are often obvious. But the physical problems may be less so. Stress can affect the body. Stress can increase the chances for obesity, infections, age-related diseases and even certain cancers.How can you manage stress?
No one thing works for everyone. If stress is affecting your health, ways to cope include:
Even though it may seem hard to find ways to de-stress with all the things you have to do, it's important to find those ways. Your health depends on it.