Week 3

Welcome to Stress Management Week

How many times have you said, "I'm so stressed out!"? It's amazing how that one little word can sum up so many different sources of tension. Stress at work, deadlines, relationships, family & home responsibilities, and finances can all be sources of stress. Stress can also result from things that we associate as happy occasions. Think of the stress involved in planning a wedding, having a baby, or getting a promotion. Making a lifestyle change can also add to our stress.

So exactly what is stress?

How do you define it? Stress is our body's response to any demand that we make on it. Research shows that many illnesses can be brought on or made worse because of stress. Stress can make us feel like we are out of control. Feeling as if we are in control is a basic human need. If we feel that we have lost control over what is happening in our life we can become emotionally and physically ill.

Specific changes take place inside our bodies when we become stressed. Stress causes our central nervous system to release stress chemicals that prepare us to handle emergency situations.

Blood pressure shoots up as your heart works to pump more blood to the large muscles in the arms and legs.

Muscles tense and prepare for action.

Stored fat is released into the system for energy.

The immune system is suppressed to prevent it from producing antibodies that could attack the body's own tissue in the event of injury.