Stress is a normal reaction to the demands of your life. The circumstances surrounding stress can be short-lived, such as being stuck in traffic, or ongoing, such as the demands of work or a hectic household. Both positive and negative major life changes, such as dealing with an illness or death, marriage or divorce, changing jobs or moving to a new home can also create stress.
Your response to stress can take a toll on your health by increasing your risk for high blood pressure or heart attack. For some, stress can also cause the desire to overeat or smoke.
The first step of managing your stress is to identify the stressors in your life and what aspects of your circumstances you can control. Stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, massage, yoga and meditation can help. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep can also help you through stressful periods. It’s a good idea to surround yourself with a support network of friends and family who are willing to help you balance your life.