Archive for September, 2006

Posted on Sep 5th, 2006

Stress is a fear that some resisted experience will happen unless you control something is out of your control.

For example, you might be facing eviction unless you can pay your rent. And you don’t have any certain way of making an income.

Or you might be in danger of experiencing the wrath of a person who explodes for no apparent reason.

Or you might fear condemnation and there seems to be nothing you can do about it.

The keys to unraveling this are one or more of

* Let go of the resistance. One way to do this is to feel the feeling associated with the resistance and then loving the feeling. You will be amazed at how effective this can be.

* Communicate with the people in the situation. Get yourself in a good mood before contacting the person / people. It might help to write out what you’re going to say. There is no need to try to memorize this. The idea is to clarify your thinking. Then you can discuss the situation in a friendly manner. You might find that the person is helpful and comes up with solutions for you.

* Learn more about the area, e.g., get more training in the subject area so you can get more control.

* Pray. This isn’t presenting a wish list to God. You can simply ask for God’s help.

* Turn everything over to God. Be willing to accept whatever God sends your way.

* Put the situation in a different context. You might consider the situation to be a thrilling challenge.

* See what you can learn from the situation. Then move forward with your new knowledge.

If you keep doing one of more of the above on a regular basis, you’ll expand the quality of your life. Why not give it a try?

Copyright 2006 by Jim Kitzmiller

Jim Kitzmiller conducts self improvement workshops and retreats. He is the author of a home study stress management class.

Posted on Sep 5th, 2006

David Bowie once sang, "Ch-ch-changes, tryin’ to face the strain."

And though working on changes in our lives can be difficult at times, it really doesn’t have to be such a strain.

Where did we get the notion that change has to be such a struggle? And what would it be like if we could make change easier?

That’s what I have spent most of my career doing, finding the simplest, fastest and most effective ways to help people get the changes they want and need.

With that in mind, let’s look at one of the major roadblocks to achieving lasting change, and then look at what to do about it.

Perfection vs. Progress

The failure to understand the important distinction between perfection and progress is a major stumbling block to lasting change.

Far too many people get stuck in demanding perfection from themselves and from others.

This leaves little or no room for appreciating the progress that might be happening.

So let’s take a look and discover whether you are demanding perfection or appreciating progress. And then most importantly, how to focus on progress.

Demanding Perfection

So many people are stuck in the myth that in order to change, you have to do it perfectly, with no slip-ups. That’s just not reality.

Here are some signs that you may be stuck in demanding perfection:

If you slip up just once, i.e., you go off your diet for one night, you say the heck with it and trash the whole plan.

You feel constantly defeated when trying to change.

You try to change too much all at once. There is just no way to get rid of 30 pounds in one month without amputation.

Appreciating Progress

Even the smallest amount of progress is still progress. It’s still change. Here’s how to focus on appreciating the progress:

Celebrate all improvements, even the smallest changes.

If a change looks too big to accomplish, break it down into smaller, more manageable parts, i.e. Just for today, I will …

Do a little bit more, go a little bit further, each day.

There’s the story of a middle-aged man who decided to take up running. The first day, he could only make it past his own house before he had to stop. The next day he went one house further, the next day another house further and so on. In less than a year, he entered and completed a marathon - that’s 26-plus miles.

Recognize the process of change. Most folks think that once they learn something new, the changes happen all at once. Sometimes that’s true, but more often change happens in four stages:

1. You learn some new skills, but do the same old thing that doesn’t work again.

2. You catch yourself in the middle of doing the same old thing that doesn’t work, stop and then do something new and different.

3. You stop yourself before you do the same old thing that doesn’t work, and do something new and different.

4. You just naturally do something new and different.

Change does not have to be a strain, or even very difficult at all. You just have to enjoy the progress and keep at it.

Remember, in the battle between the rock and the river, the river always wins because the river just keeps at it.

For more tips and tools for stress management and stress mastery visit Tools for Successful Living

Posted on Sep 4th, 2006

Are you having trouble getting rid of your anxiety and stress related problems while taking care of the kids? It is not easy to manage your anxieties, however here are some techniques a person can use to help conquer their stresses and other anxiety related symptoms.

The first step is that you should talk to a professional who can get you started in the right path of getting better. Getting help from a counselor or other professional is very important and can provide you much help and insights in dealing with your current problem.

A good way to manage your anxiety is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make your fearful or anxious, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense.

When overwhelmed with worry, a person may encounter a lot of scary thoughts coming at them all at once. Instead of getting upset, remember that these thoughts are exaggerated and are not based on reality. From my interviews with various professionals, I’ve learned that usually it is the fear behind the thoughts that gets us worked up. Ignore the fear behind these thoughts, and your worry should decrease.

Sometimes, we get stressed when everything happens all at once. Instead of taking it out on someone else a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get your mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This mental timeout can help you refocus on your current situation.

Another thing to remember is that things change and events do not stay the same. For instance, you may feel overwhelmed today with your anxiety and feel that this is how you will feel the rest of the week or month. This isn’t correct. No one can predict the future with 100 Percent accuracy. Even if the thing that you feared does happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage.

As a Layman I realize that experiencing a lot of anxiety can be difficult. The next time it happens remember to apply some of these techniques you recently learned. The key is to be patient and not to give up. In time, you will be able to cope with your anxieties.

Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear" an easy to read book that presents a overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com

Posted on Sep 4th, 2006

Learning methods of stress elimination is a vital skill in the modern world. After all, there is no way to get away from stress these days, thanks to work, life, family, the economy, the state of the world, global warming, and an overabundance of people who are reminding you constantly about all of these. Not to mention the fact that you are stressed about everything and you know that stress can cause major health problems, so you are stressed about your own stress! Thus, you need some stress elimination strategies before you worry yourself silly.

The first stress elimination method is simply that of getting away. If you are feeling the heat from stress, you find yourself anxious, and you cannot concentrate, it is time for a break. That means that, if you are at work, get up from your desk and take a walk around. If you are at home, take a walk around the block. If homework is getting you stressed, go make a sandwich. Just walk away and take a break and come back in about five minutes.

As a matter of fact, when you are concentrating on something, you should breaks anyway in order to let your mind rest. After all, when you exercise your body, you take breaks to let it recover. Why should your mind be any different. By simply stretching in your seat every 15 minutes or so, then getting up and walking around for a couple of minutes every hour, you can ensure that your brain will stay sharp and stay focused. However, if you do not take these breaks, your mind will start wandering and you will find that you are stressed out because you cannot concentrate. Of course, you cannot concentrate because you are trying to force yourself to concentrate rather than giving yourself a quick break that would help you do that very thing.

However, sometimes it takes more than just a few minutes of walking to get rid of stress. After all, life is stressful in itself and you need to get away from it every once in a while. Thus, part of your stress elimination strategy should include some vacations. By getting away for a week or so every year, you can alleviate stress and prevent it from appearing very often. The simple act of being someplace else where you don’t have to worry about anything other than relaxing will help you immeasurably and it will allow you to keep stress away. Just leave it all behind for a while and you will be able to deal with it better when you get back.

Another good method for stress elimination is through exercise. It has been shown that people who are fit tend to deal with stress much more effectively than people who are not, so it is necessary to get out to the gym every so often. Or, if you don’t feel like going to the gym, you can do a few things from your home, such as running, walking or biking. Also, one very effective way to stay fit is to go out to your local swimming pool and get a few laps in. Swimming is not only a very good way to exercise your entire body, it is also a very low-impact method of exercise that does not strain the joints as much as something like running. Just remember to do something that will keep you in shape.

Also, yoga is a very popular way for people to stay fit when they do not enjoy exercising in such standard ways. In itself, yoga is a very effective method for relaxation and teachers often put a great deal of emphasis on relaxing while going through the various poses of yoga. Thus, you can learn methods of relaxation, stay fit, stay limber, and even have fun doing it. Likewise, studying martial arts such as karate, ju jitsu, judo, or even the relaxing forms of tai chi can provide substantial health benefits that will help you on the road toward stress elimination.

Finally, another good method for stress elimination is through meditation. Not only can you learn to eliminate stress generally, there are some methods of meditation that can be performed at a moment’s notice. Just by sitting down, closing your eyes, and concentrating on taking deep breaths, you can push all that stress out of your body and ease your mind of all its concerns. In fact, simply meditating in this manner for about a minute can ease your stress levels almost instantly by clearing your mind of all its concerns and allowing it to start out fresh. In fact, with a little practice, you can meditate for a short period of time and feel as refreshed as though you just took a nap.

Stress elimination is a vital skill for people who want to stay healthy, stay productive, and keep their minds sharp. Though some of the methods take some practice and take some time to master, a little effort and a little dedication can go a long way. So learn a few methods, figure out what is right for you, and stress elimination will be possible for you now and in the future.

Copyright 2005 Trevor Dumbleton

LowerYourStress.com: for everything to do with stress. Get a free ebook to help with your stress levels: http://www.loweryourstress.com/stress-book.html

Posted on Sep 3rd, 2006

Ever had a week, or month or how about a summer that was so overwhelming, so chaotic that you simply didn’t know where to start to get back on track?

You may not have any control over the thing (or things) that set off the chaos but you still have to deal with the ramifications. Often on top of the physical presence of the chaos there is also internal emotional turmoil that suddenly boils up from who knows where.

For example, this is going back to school time. For those of you who have young kids it often means the end to summer…sanity is around the corner. But for those of you whose kids are "coming of age" it may mean they are off to college and that could mean they’re moving out of the house and sometimes out of state.

Regardless of how often you thought you’d be glad when the day came that they were leaving…now that it’s here it can be a real emotional ringer. I’ve got several clients that feel like they are on an emotional rollercoaster for just this reason.

Added to that emotional turmoil is the feeling they have left so much undone during this time, they don’t know where to start.

Or maybe you’ve been away for close to a week attending your company’s annual event. You’ve been exposed to a lot of information. You’re excited and rearing to go. But you’re feeling overwhelmed. "Where do I begin" and feeling behind in your day to day life. So what do you do…often we do nothing.

Neither of the above examples are what train wrecked me this last week. But that is exactly how I feel overwhelmed and on an emotional rollercoaster. What caused the sky to fall for me? Technical difficulties.

My email account (Outlook) went down and I’ve been unable to access any of my files nor can I get or send emails. This is huge for me as I do a lot of my business using email. Believe me for the first couple of days, the sky was falling.

Loosing my folders would be awful and being virtually off line for a week has sent things into a real tizzy.

I felt so far behind that it seemed I’d never catch up and I was really at odds as to where to begin.

Where do you begin when this happens?

This is what I did and I hope the process helps you. I made a list of all the things I could think of that were lurking out there playing on my mind. All the things that were left undone while the distraction was taking my time…this newsletter was one of them. It was "due" on the 15th and here it is the 18th and still not out.

Once I got the list of projects in front of me that were undone (and making me crazy) it was easier (and much less frightening) to choose the first one to do.

In this case it was the newsletter. I decided that was my first project.

Did that fix everything?

No, I’m still behind and feeling angst (and Outlook is still not working right). So the next thing I did was stand back a bit and take a look at how I was dealing with the situation.

Here is what I heard, "You need to tell those Microsoft guys that you’re out of time, and they need to do whatever it takes to get this fixed." Clever huh, do I really think these guys are not doing everything they can to fix this problem? Here’s another gem, "Everything is still sitting there, when will it get done. You’re going on vacation next week, how can you do that with this mess?"

What I heard was all the negative chatter reinforcing how far behind I was and all the things that I "should" be doing. It became apparent that this was a job for the "Tom and Jerry" solution. For those of you who don’t know the Tom and Jerry solution see my ezine # 6. It was time to "thank it for sharing, flick it off my shoulder and listen to something constructive, something positive."

Don’t be so hard on yourself

And this ladies and gentlemen is really the entire reason for this article. So many of us think we are supposed to "get perfect" and stay that way. When the real trick is to recognize when you are off schedule, off kilter or in anyway out of sorts or out of focus … and simply come back to focus.

As soon as I decided I was going to put the "distraction" on the back burner (even for just a little while) and focus on something I knew I had control over, things began to clear for me.

Oh the negative chatter didn’t stay away very long - at first. But what did happen immediately, I was able to refocus much more quickly. So the amount of time I was "spinning" doing nothing of real value got shorter and shorter.

And that’s the trick. It isn’t how much is undone, or how long you’ve been off track, that really makes for failure. What trips us up is not coming back to focus.

Everyone gets off focus. What makes for success is to keep coming back.

And here’s one last thought on that. Come back congratulating yourself. Yep, congratulating yourself.

You have a couple of choices in this situation (at least). You can be really annoyed with yourself for "being off focus again." Or you can congratulate yourself for recognizing you were "off" and bringing yourself back.

Which do you think will be the most productive? (Let’s see, is the glass half full or half empty?)

Remember the hash mark exercise from the last ezine and try that here. When you realize you’re "off focus" add one of those hash marks to your collection. But do with congratulations for being aware that you were off focus.

What happens as soon as you are aware you’re off focus?

Right, you back on track.

Be good to you when things out of your control suddenly take over. And as soon as you can, take a break from the chaos and do something that moves your life forward. The chaos will still be there waiting for you…(or maybe not) when you return to it. Recap of steps

In its essence pretty simple really:

1. Stand back from the situation and make a list of everything that is undone

2. Pick something that’s important to you from the list. (Everything important? Choose something you can complete fairly easily and quickly.)

3. Using the Tom and Jerry exercise from ezine #6 and break the negative chatter pattern.

4. Congratulate yourself for recognizing when you’re off focus. Great job, you’re aware!

I’d love to hear how this works for you, please email me and let me know.

May all your hassles be little and your (re)focus strong! :)

© 2006 Jillian Middleton All rights reserved.

Jillian Middleton is a Mentor Coach and Trainer, and author of the courses ‘5 Steps to Working Less and Making More in Network Marketing’ and Setting Up Your Store Hours. As creator of the ‘Savvy Sponsoring Strategies’ Program, Jillian trains network marketers and direct sales consultants the same strategies she used to build two 6-figure network marketing businesses in 5 years. For more information on Jillian or her programs visit http://www.SavvySponsoring.com.

Posted on Sep 3rd, 2006

"I’ve got too much to do, I’ve just got too much to do!"

We have all said it and we have all lived it. I call this particular kind of stress Too Much To Do stress, or TMTD stress. When we feel TMTD stress, we typically have one or both of the following reactions. We either just say the heck with it and let everything pile up. Or we try to do it all and make ourselves and those around us miserable.

Another, more powerful and useful solution is to write it down, break it down, and knock it down.

Write it down

When we take the time to write down all the things we have to do, we reap at least two key benefits:

1)We keep it from running around in our heads over and over again.

2)We are able to put it outside of ourselves, which allows us to step back and get a better picture of what is in front of us.

It’s a cop-out to claim you don’t have time to write it all down. You are right that it will take a few minutes, but they are minutes well-spent that will save you time and stress.

Get a sheet of paper and divide it into four columns. In the first column list all the things that you need to do. They are now on paper, which makes them much more manageable than when they are taking up space in your head.

When we continually say "I’ve got too much to do," we see all of our tasks as one huge unmanageable job. It’s like trying to eat a pizza in one big bite. You choke and can’t do it. We eat a pizza by cutting it into slices and then eating it a bite at a time. Do the same thing with your to-do list.

After you have written goals down, the next step is to break them into manageable pieces. You can get a lot done a little bit at a time.

So now, back to your sheet of paper. In the first of the four columns, you have written down all the tasks you want to complete. The next three columns are for each of the next three days, over which you are going to divide all the tasks on your to-do list. Break your tasks down by scheduling some on day one, some on day two and some on day three.

In this way, you have taken this long list of things to do, and broken them down into manageable pieces that you can do over three or more days.

Once you have written it down and broken it down, you will have renewed energy to get things done, to knock these things down.

If you notice that some of these items no longer seem as important, discard them and move onto the next task.

It’s important to remember that if you do not get everything done that is scheduled for one day, the course of history will probably not be affected. Just do it the next day. Remember, the point of this exercise is to reduce your stress, not increase it.

Write it down, break it down, knock it down, and send that Too Much To Do stress packing.

For more leading edge tips and tools for managing and mastering stress, you are invited to visit Jeff Herring’s ToolsforSuccessfulLiving.com

Posted on Sep 2nd, 2006

Do not let your anxieties and stresses overwhelm you while taking care of your family. Sometimes it can be difficult to overcome your stresses, however there are ways of dealing with your problems. Here is a list of techniques that a person can use to help manage their daily stresses and anxieties while being a parent.

In dealing with your anxieties, learn to take it one day at a time. While the consequences of a particular fear may seem real, there are usually other factors that can not be anticipated and can affect the results of any situation. Get all of the facts of the situation and use them to your advantage.

Sometimes, we can get anxious over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that your playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self -Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.

Many times we get overwhelmed with many different tasks that we face. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This will help you to refocus on your present situation.

Take a day to relax. Being a parent takes a lot of work nowadays. Take the day off and do something you enjoy and let your spouse take care of the kids.

As a Layman, I know that our anxieties and stresses can be difficult to manage. The better you can manage your stresses and anxieties, the better off you will be in the long run.

Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear” an easy to read book that presents a overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com

Posted on Sep 2nd, 2006

Have you ever noticed what occurs when you are suddenly thrown into a high tension situation?

Does any of this sound familiar?

* Raised pulse

* Short faster breaths

* Shallower breathing

* Feelings of losing control

* Limbs twitching and/or shaking

* Feeling hot and clammy

OK, there may be more, but I think they are a good start.

If you answered no to all of them then, CONGRATULATIONS, you don’t suffer from stress (or any human emotion) at all!

Seriously though, such feelings are often the reason why people suffer from stress and anxiety in their everyday lives and, this is the point,

EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NOT IN STRESSFUL SITUATIONS!

The stress they feel regularly in pressure environments does not leave them and this leads to extended periods of tension, headaches, poor and shallow breathing, and often leads them to indulge in vices that exacerbate the problem.

Unfortunately this is the nature of society and, short of retiring to a mountain top for a life of solitude, it cannot easily change.

Not everyone can simply leave their jobs for example, it is not always that simple.

Alright then, what CAN be done?

Essentially, we need to spend some time re-training our responses to stressful and anxious situations. In a nutshell we need to develop AWARENESS of how we feel and which situations require a different response.

Obviously, this takes time.

Here are some practical steps to help alleviate stress related problems.

1. Practice becoming AWARE of when you need to apply different physical and mental responses. Meetings, interviews, and suchlike are obvious examples. How about while driving, many people are unnecessarily tense and stressed, and because it is such a common thing to do, we are not even aware we ARE overtly stressed while doing it!

2. Re-train yourself to breathe differently in hard to handle situations. Inhale deeply through your nose when anxious as opposed to reverting to shallow, fast, and erratic breathing. Now the important part. Allow the exhale to be LONGER. This will aid in preventing hyperventilation and will bring with it a feeling of calm control.

3. Check your body for muscular tension. Mentally scan down your body and feel for undue tension. If you do feel it, address it, and combine attempts at relaxing the relevant body part with your exhalation. Literally breathe out your mental AND physical stress and tenseness. Let it go!

Remember, you can learn to use such methods under everyday stress just like you can learn (and apply) anything. While many people resort to vices that really just make matters worse, deep breathing and all that it entails allows a person to go within oneself at any given moment and find a healthier solution to the problem of anxiety and stress.

(c) Tim Webb 2005 All Rights Reserved

Tim Webb is a fitness instructor, Ju Jutsu instructor and competitor. He specialises in easily accessible deep breathing exercises that combine breath and mind together. His site http://www.BreathForSuccess.com offers a product that provides deep breathing exercises for invigorating yourself, stress and anxiety reduction, and highlights how your breath can be tied in with your goals to move you towards them in record time!

Posted on Sep 1st, 2006

Stress is predominant in our society. Most of us are running here, running there, doing something at high speed, seldom relaxing. And they thought they were living busy lives a hundred years ago!

"This strange disease of modern life with its brisk hurry and divided aims." - Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)

To improve upon this stressful way of life we can reassess our values and routines. If possible, we can eliminate some of those things which are not necessary to a contented life, and we can slow down. Achieving a stress free way of life will help keep us healthier and living longer and make our time here a lot more fun.

You can often visualize your way out of tension by picturing yourself in a very calm, peaceful, serene setting, in complete easy control. Picture it clearly and hold on to it. You can use your imagination in many different ways to help siphon off tensions - when at the bathroom sink or in the shower, let all your worries, stresses, anxieties, run down the drain with the dirty soapy water.

When you start to feel stress coming on, immediately try relaxing the muscles and fill your mind with thoughts of peace, tranquility, confidence, strength, happiness. Repeat these and other calming words to yourself now and again. Take notice of, and enjoy your surroundings all through the day. Look at, listen to, smell the limitless variety of things natural everywhere.

Make a determined effort to please someone. Offer help, agree, smile. This is much easier than trying to impress others, or trying to be perfect. Thinking of, and interacting with others, can be very soothing on the nerves, particularly if you expect no credits.

"The American over tension and jerkiness and breathlessness and intensity and agony of expression are bad habits, nothing more or less. Tension is a habit. Relaxing is a habit. And bad habits can be broken, and good habits formed." - William James (1842-1910)

© Read Ken McIsaac’s 32 KEYS About Life at http://www.32keys.com or his articles on marketing and consumerism at http://www.axiom.ws/unethical/.

Posted on Sep 1st, 2006

What is Stress?

Stress may be defined as the three-way relationship between demands on people, our feelings about those demands and our ability to cope with them. Stress is most likely to occur in situations where:

1. Demands are high.
2. The amount of control we have is low.
3. There is limited support or help available for us.

Who is Affected Most by Stress?

Virtually all people experience stressful events or situations that overwhelm our natural coping mechanisms. And although some people are biologically prone to stress, many outside factors influence susceptibility as well.

Studies indicate that some people are more vulnerable to the effects of stress than others. Older adults; women in general, especially working mothers and pregnant women; less-educated people; divorced or widowed people; people experiencing financial strains such as long-term unemployment; people who are the targets of discrimination; uninsured and underinsured people; and people who simply live in cities all seem to be particularly susceptible to health-related stress problems.

People who are less emotionally stable or have high anxiety levels tend to experience certain events as more stressful than healthy people do. And the lack of an established network of family and friends predisposes us to stress-related health problems such as heart disease and infections. Caregivers, children and medical professionals are also frequently found to be at higher risk for stress-related disorders.

Job-related stress is particularly likely to be chronic because it is such a large part of life. Stress reduces a worker’s effectiveness by impairing concentration, causing sleeplessness and increasing the risk of illness, back problems, accidents and lost time. At its worst extremes, stress that places a burden on our hearts and circulation can often be fatal. The Japanese have a word for sudden death due to overwork: karoushi.

Medical Affects of Chronic Stress

The stress response of the body is like an airplane readying for take-off. Virtually all systems, such as the heart and blood vessels, the immune system, the lungs, the digestive system, the sensory organs, and the brain are modified to meet the perceived danger.

A stress-filled life really seems to raise the odds of heart disease and stroke down the road. Researchers have found that after middle-age, those who report chronic stress face a somewhat higher risk of fatal or non-fatal heart disease or stroke over the years. It is now believed that constant stress takes its toll on our arteries, causing chronically high levels of stress hormones and pushing people to maintain unhealthy habits like smoking.

Stressed-out men are twice as likely as their peers to die of a stroke. There are weaker such findings among women, which is likely due to the fairly low number of heart disease and stroke cases among women, rather than a resistance to the health effects of chronic stress. Women seem slightly more susceptible to the effects of stress than men.

Simply put, too much stress puts you at dire risk for health problems. Whether it comes from one event or the buildup of many small events, stress causes major physical alterations that often lead to health problems. Here is a list of some of these changes:

• Our heart rates increase, to move blood to our muscles and brains.
• Our blood pressures go up.
• Our breathing rates increase.
• Our digestion slows down.
• Our perspiration increases.
• We feel a rush of strength at first, but over time stress makes us feel weak.

These reactions helped our ancestors survive threats by preparing for either "fight or flight." Today, our bodies still react the same way, but the events that cause stress do not require this ancient mechanism.

Stress can also greatly raise our risk of:

• Ulcers and digestive disorders
• Headaches
• Migraine headaches
• Backaches
• Depression
• Suicide
• High blood pressure
• Stroke
• Heart attack
• Alcohol and drug dependencies
• Allergies and skin diseases
• Cancer
• Asthma
• Depressed immune system
• More colds and infections

We have to learn ways to relieve stress, because when it goes on for very long or happens too often, it obviously can cause many serious health problems.

Resources about Stress Risks

The information in this article is originally from: the Somerset Medical Center website, http://www.somersetmedicalcenter.com; the University of Maryland Medicine website, http://www.umm.edu/patiented; the March of Dimes website, http://www.marchofdimes.com; the voice of doctors website, http://web.bma.org.uk; and the Health Ink Online website, http://www.healthinkonline.com.

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