Know your stress. Temporary stress is normal. However, stress that lasts for longer periods of time is known as Chronic Stress. Chronic stress makes it very difficult for the body to process and can increase the risk of serious health conditions like stroke, cancer, mental illness, high blood pressure, heart attack and others. If Stress lasts for a long period of time it can result in higher levels of cholesterol and abnormal heart rhythms.
Symptoms of stress include: Deceased sex drive, teeth grinding, irritability or impatience, nervous habits like nail biting or foot tapping, nightmares, too much or too little sleep, crying over minor incidents, changes in appetite, dreading going to work or participating in other activities, and lack of interest in once rewarding activities.
You can cope with stress in healthy ways. Try some of the following: Be kind to yourself, take things one day at a time, keep a positive outlook when you can, perform relaxation exercises that focus on relaxing the body with idea that mind cannot be at peace while the body is tense, meditate, trying breathing exercises to create a physical change in the body, like yoga or a tai chi class, take a walk 30 minutes a day at least four to six times a week, eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight and avoid or limit caffeine, fat, sodium and sugar.

-Brenda Edwards

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