Give yourself a break.  Some days our stressful life can feel just like a pressure cooker.  We deal with job pressures and traffic jams.  Then we arrive at “home sweet home” to hungry, bickering children, a home that is always in need of attention and an equally exhausted spouse.  This is an average family.  Some families are also dealing with aging parents, children with drug/alcohol problems or are facing the pressure of unemployment or financial loss.

When we are stressed, chronic doses of adrenaline and cortisol are coursing through our body.  These hormones were meant to protect us against threats from predators and aggressors.  You may have heard it called your body’s “fight or flight” reaction.  But keeping your body constantly on edge causes your natural alarm system to remain on.  This results in an increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure and an increase in the the production of sugars in your body.

Long term exposure of the stress response system leads to heart disease, sleep and digestive problems, depression and obesity.

It is important to your health to learn healthy ways to cope with stress.  Relaxation, exercise, sleep and fostering healthy friendships are the key to peace of mind and a longer healthier life.

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