Stress basics (10)
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- Stress: Constant stress puts your health at risk
- Stress management: Identify your sources of stress
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Stress relief (23)
- Coping with stress: Workplace tips
- Social support: Tap this tool to beat stress
- Support groups: Make connections, get help
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Relaxation techniques (9)
- Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits
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Stress: Constant stress puts your health at risk
Why you react to life stressors the way you do
Your reaction to a potentially stressful event is different from anyone else's. How you react to stressors in your life includes such factors as:
- Genetics. The genes that control the stress response keep most people on a fairly even keel, only occasionally priming the body for fight or flight. Overactive or underactive stress responses may stem from slight differences in these genes.
- Life experiences. Strong stress reactions sometimes can be traced to early environmental factors. People who were exposed to extremely stressful events as children, such as neglect or abuse, tend to be particularly vulnerable to stress as adults.
You may have some friends who seem laid-back about almost everything and others who react strongly at the slightest stress. Most reactions to life stressors fall somewhere between those extremes.
Learning to react to life stressors in a healthy way
Stressful events are a fact of life. And you may not be able to change your current situation. But you can take steps to manage the impact these events have on you. You can learn to identify what stresses you out, how to take control of some stress-inducing circumstances, and how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally in the face of stressful situations.
Stress management strategies include:
- Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep
- Practicing relaxation techniques
- Fostering healthy friendships
- Having a sense of humor
- Seeking professional counseling when needed
The payoff of managing stress is peace of mind and — perhaps — a longer, healthier life.Previous page
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- Karren KJ, et al. Mind Body Health. San Francisco, Calif.: Benjamin Cummings; 2010:28.
- Creagan E (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 10, 2010.