Sunday, January 28, 2007


Stress is a part of life. Stress happens to everyone every day as we cope with ordinary events, interact with people, and meet all kinds of demands. Everyday things such as rules, work, responsibilities, decisions, changes, relationships, illness and money can cause stress.

A little stress is good. It makes you think and try harder. It stimulates and provides excitement. The stress of competitive sports, for example, is enjoyable for most people. But too much stress or stress that goes on for a long time can become harmful.

How does stress affect health?

Stress affects everyone differently. Some people become anxious or defensive, others become depressed or withdrawn. Yet others become aggressive or excited. Stress can also give rise to:

  • Fast Heartbeats
  • Tense muscles
  • Headaches, stomachaches and diarrhoea
  • Being anxious and bad-tempered all the time
  • Acting in a defensive or aggressive manner
  • Feeling tired and having trouble concentrating
  • Eating disorders, loss of appetite or overeating
  • Sleeplessness (insomnia)
  • Migraine
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Skin rashes

If stress continues, it may lead to diseases like:

  • High blood pressure, heart attack
  • Depression, nervous breakdown or mental illness
  • Worsening of asthma attacks
To control stress effectively, we must first know what is causing the stress. Then we must consider whether we can do anything about it. Some causes of stress can be changed or adjusted while others have simply to be accepted. In both cases however, we can change the way we react and learn how to cope more effectively.

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