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Monday, October 13, 2008

Check Your Stress Level To Save Your Life

Challenging modern life demands more from us and thus results in high stress or depression levels. Major life changes are also main cause of stress either the stress is positive or nagative. Positive stress gives us strength and motivation to achieve goals. But we should carefully judge if our stress level is crossing the positive levels and showing the nagative signs of stress. It is clear that 'Stress is a medical condition and it can have a serious effect on your health.'

This article would help you learn about signs of negative stress which can help you understand how much it can harm you and what happens when you are stressed and at the bottom of the post you would be able to know your stress level using an interactive tool provided by MSN Health and fitness.

Short-term (acute) stress can keep you awake at night and make you feel irritable and edgy. High stress levels over a long period of time (chronic stress) can cause serious health problems such as high blood pressure, and it can weaken your immune system and make it difficult for your body to fight disease. Stress is linked to health conditions such as depression, heart disease, and asthma.

What happens when you are stressed?

When you are stressed, your body responds as though you are in danger. It makes hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster, and give you a burst of energy. This is called the fight-or-flight stress response.

Some stress is normal and even useful. It can help if you need to work hard or react quickly. For example, it can help you win a race or finish an important job on time.

But if stress happens too often or lasts too long, it can have bad effects. It can be linked to headaches, an upset stomach, back pain, or trouble sleeping. It can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off disease. If you already have a health problem, stress may make it worse. It can make you moody, tense, or depressed. Your relationships may suffer, and you may not do well at work or school.

What can you do about stress?
The good news is that you can learn ways to manage stress. To get stress under control:

Find out what is causing stress in your life.
Look for ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life.
Learn healthy ways to relieve stress.
How do you figure out your stress level?
Sometimes it is clear where stress is coming from. You can count on stress during a major life change such as the death of a loved one, getting married, or having a baby. But other times it may not be so clear why you feel stressed.

It may help to keep a stress journal. Get a notebook and write down when something makes you feel stressed. Then write how you reacted and what you did to deal with the stress. Keeping a stress journal can help you find out what is causing your stress and how much stress you feel. Then you can take steps to reduce the stress or handle it better.

To find out how stressed you are right now, use the tool offered by MSN. This interactive tool gauges your stress level based on the number of life changes you have had recently. Your score shows a rough estimate of your current stress level and the likelihood that you will have health problems due to stress in the next 12 to 18 months.

MSN Health and fitness presents the interactive tool: What Is Your Stress Level?

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