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43388436_MStress is a natural response. In a stressful situation, your body gets ready for action. Your muscles tense, your heart races, and your breathing even increases. This is your body’s way of getting prepared for anything – “fight or flight.”

Stress is common, and it can even be helpful sometimes, like making you tough and improving your brain function. However, too much stress can be detrimental to your health. So, it’s important to know how to keep stress in its place.

The negative symptoms of stress can lead to harmful effects on your mind and body. You may experience insomnia, anxiety, headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, even chest pain… It can lead to obesity, and be a contributing factor in diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

When the bad out ways the good, it’s definitely a sign that stress has taken over and you need to regain control. But, how do you that? If your signs are serious, talk with a doctor, make sure nothing else is going on, and also discuss how to ease the burden of stress.

Some of the steps that can be taken to ease stress include:

  • Relaxation exercises -including breathing deeply, stretching exercises, and laughing
  • Socializing with loved ones – taking time to be social and enjoy time with friends and family
  • Planning for “me time” – schedule time on the calendar when you’re unavailable; set this time aside for hobbies or for just relaxing
  • Get your exercise on – make sure you’re committed to a regular exercise plan to help ease the burdens of everyday life

Stress is common and a part of our everyday lives. However, that doesn’t mean we have to let it control us. Take active steps today to improve your overall well-being.