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Stress is something that affects everyone, but most people just accept that it is a part of their life without examining it further. Stress is a person’s reaction to various events. Stress can be both good and bad, depending on the type and quantity. It is crucial to talk about the harmful effects of stress. Many people turn to negative ways to avoid stress, which can lead to destructive effects. On the other hand, there are also many positive ways to manage and avoid stress. Stress is ingrained into the lives of humans, and it is important to be able to know what it is you are feeling and how to manage your stress. The science behind stress is often not understood by people. Stress is a natural response that occurs in your body when there is a change in your life situation. These changes are called stressors, and these can be seen in many instances in a person’s life. For example, a car accident can be a stressor because it means that people may have gotten hurt, you have to deal with insurance companies, and you may have to spend a lot of money to pay for damages. Another example of a stressor is getting married. Although getting married is a happy event, stress can be caused because you now have to make decisions about things such as your living situation, a wedding, and possible future plans, such as children. Although stressors are usually caused by outside forces, they can also be caused internally. Some examples of this is when you think excessively about a certain event that has a possibility of happening, or when you hold an extremely pessimistic view on life. Other examples include having a perfectionist outlook on life or having various fears, such as a fear of public speaking or flying. Stressors are the root of stress, and they are used by your body in order to cause you to react to a certain situation. Although stress usually has a negative connotation, there is both good and bad stress. Humans have adapted to experience stress, which is a clear indicator that there are benefits to feeling stress. When a person is stressed, they exhibit a fight or flight response. This is due to the fact that humans have adapted over the years to be able to react to what they consider threats in the environment. A person can react to this change by either fighting or fleeing. When the fight or flight response is channeled correctly, people are able to react quickly during an emergency situation and stay alive. Stress can also help a person stay alert and focused. Stress is also a motivating factor that can help a person be productive. It can also help an athlete perform better when they have an adrenaline rush, which is a symptom of the fight or flight response. On the other hand, there is also bad stress. This is the type of stress that is discussed much more. Bad stress is caused when a person has an adverse reaction to stress, and/or when they are overloaded by the amount of stress that they have. This can lead to many negative effects. As Vivek Murthy, a U.S. surgeon general, says, “I am deeply concerned about the level of stress that our country is experiencing. I think it’s preventing us from achieving our full potential.” When people experience an overload of stress, the positive effects subside and are instead replaced by negative symptoms that can hinder productivity and cause health problems. The types of stress that a person has in their life can influence their health and performances greatly. There are many cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms of stress. There are many common warning that your body gives you when you are facing too much stress. These can manifest themselves in many different ways. Some examples of cognitive symptoms, which are memory problems, concentration problems, and impaired judgement. A person can also begin to take on a pessimistic view of life, and they could start to feel more anxious or have an increase in anxious thoughts. Some people also begin to experience a sense of constant worrying, which can take a big toll on their life. Emotional problems can also become a concern when dealing with a large amount of stress. Some symptoms include moodiness, increased amounts of anger, and irritability. A person could also begin to isolate themselves from others and feel overwhelmed with their lives. Other examples of emotional problems are depression, anxiety, or other mental/emotional problems. These can be very serious and should be discussed with a health care provider. Behavior problems, which can be tied into emotional problems, are also a very common issue that people experience when they have too much stress in their lives. These behavioral problems include changes in eating and/or sleeping habits and procrastination. Another symptom includes withdrawing from others, which includes from social situations and various activities, such as clubs or sports. People with behavioral problems due to stress can also develop habits that display their nervousness, such as biting their nails, chewing their hair, or pacing. Although many of the problems caused by stress aren’t necessarily visible, there are also ways that stress can affect a person’s physical health. Some physical symptoms of stress include various aches and pains, and frequent sickness such as colds or flu. Studies have shown that people with more social relationships and lower levels of stress are less likely to get a cold and show symptoms. Other symptoms of stress could be dizziness, nausea, sweating, skin problems, rapid heart rate, and chest pain. Stress can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, and people with a lot of stress in their lives can exhibit either a few or many of these problems. There are many avenues you can take to avoid stress, and many people choose to take unwise measures. By making unwise decisions about how to deal with stress, people can cause themselves a lot of pain and even more stress down the road. It is important to be aware of negative ways to deal with stress so that they can be avoided. Some common, yet very problematic ways that people try to avoid stress and relax is using alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes. These can lead to lifelong addictions and health problems. Addiction can lead to having to go to rehab or being in debt because you spend your money on your substance of choice. This leads to a snowball effect, where a person wants to quit their addiction, but starts to feel stressed about this, so they go back to doing drugs or drinking alcohol in order to ignore their stress. Stress can also cause a person to begin bad habits that damage their professional life. Stress can cause people to miss school or work, which leads to them falling even further behind. Procrastination is a common reaction to stress, since people want to avoid the cause of their stress by avoiding completing the task at hand. People often procrastinate by doing everything else other than the job they have to do, such as eating or watching television. Also, when a person does work on the project they are supposed to complete, stress can lead them to not work to the best of their abilities and produce a sub-par end result. The avoidance of people and projects can lead to confrontations from others. Stressed people are more prone to lash out and fight as a way to deal with their stress. Instead of letting their emotions out in a positive manner, they snap at people and engage in fights about petty topics. This can lead to guilt and a further inability to relax. Another symptom of stress that needs to be focused on is the development of eating disorders. Stress can cause people to develop anorexia or bulimia as a way to deal with their lives and avoid the problems that are causing their original stress. Eating disorders are very serious and can cause detrimental health problems. When people deal with stress in a negative manner, although they are avoiding stress in the short-term, they are causing themselves more stress in the long-term. It is very rewarding to attempt to deal with stress in a positive manner. Although some people turn to negative manners in order to deal with stress because they believe that it is easier and quicker, the positive ways to deal with stress can have enormous benefits. There are many options that can help you handle your stress, depending on what your motivations are and what your life situation is. Many of these stress management techniques have no cost or a inexpensive. One of the most common stress management strategies is getting exercise. Not only does exercise help to improve stress, but it also helps to prevent stress and has many positive health benefits. Exercise releases endorphins, which causes your mood to improve. This can help to distract yourself from your worries and feel good about yourself. Exercise helps to release tension from your body, which is instrumental to reducing stress. It also helps to counteract some of the negative side effects of stress. By exercising, you can improve your ability to sleep, improve self-esteem, improve concentration, and lower fatigue. All of this contributes to a reduction in stress and an increase in mood. Exercise is also an excellent way to reduce stress because it is such a broad topic that encompasses many different types of exercise. Some common and very effective types of exercises include running, walking, yoga, swimming, biking, and weightlifting. Although exercise is an excellent option for stress relief, there are many other techniques that are just as effective. There are also many relaxation techniques that can be used to control how stress affects your body. Some examples of these are yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. These exercises can help you reduce your stress levels and have a better response to stress when you encounter it. They can help you feel happier and more at peace with yourself. There are many resources online and in books that can help guide you through any relaxation techniques. For example, many apps are available for phones that include guided meditation and tell you when to breathe in and out for deep breathing exercises. Another positive way that you can control stress is by eating healthy. Healthy eating can not only make you feel good about yourself, but it also improves your overall health. Having a diet rich is healthy foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables can help a person have a better handle on the stress that they encounter. Getting enough sleep is a huge factor. When a person is sleep deprived, they can begin to think irrationally, which can lead to they experiencing more stress during their waking moments. By being well-rested, you can be more productive during the day and in turn experience less stress because you are not falling behind on deadlines or projects. Another great avenue of stress relief is creating meaningful connections with people. Talking to people are having friendships is a great way to relieve stress, since this causes stress-relieving hormones to be released. Also, by having good friendships, you are creating a support system of people that you can talk to when you are feeling overwhelmed. There is much to learn about stress and the ways that people can manage it. By understanding what is going on in the human body when it feels stressed, stress can be managed better. There are both negative and positive stressors at play in people’s lives. The symptoms of stress can manifest themselves in many ways. The negative ways that people can manage stress can have painful consequences. There are many choices out there for people looking to manage their stress in positive ways. Stress is a fascinating topic that can be seen in action in everyday life.