National Stress Awareness Month!
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Stress symptoms commonly include a state of alarm and adrenaline production, short-term resistance as a coping mechanism, and exhaustion, as well as irritability, muscular tension, inability to concentrate and a variety of physiological reactions such as headache and elevated heart rate.

When is National Stress Month? Always the month of April
Stress is a term in psychology and biology, first coined in the 1930s, which has in more recent decades become a commonplace of popular parlance. It refers to the consequence of the failure of an organism – human or animal – to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats, whether actual or imagined.

What is this observance about?
National Stress Month is observed to promote public awareness of what stress is, the causes of stress, and what can be done about it. "A monthlong focus on the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies and the myths about stress that are prevalent in our society."

Signs Of Stress
Signs of stress may be cognitive, emotional, physical or behavioral. Signs include:

poor judgment,
a general negative outlook,
excessive worrying,
moodiness,
irritability,
agitation,
inability to relax,
feeling lonely,
isolated or depressed,
aches and pains,
diarrhea or constipation,

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Impact on disease
Stress can significantly affect many of the body's immune systems, as can an individual's perceptions of, and reactions to, stress. The term psychoneuroimmunology is used to describe the interactions between the mental state, nervous and immune systems, as well as research on the interconnections of these systems. Immune system changes can create more vulnerability to infection, and have been observed to increase the potential for an outbreak of psoriasis for people with that skin disorder.

Chronic stress has also been shown to impair developmental growth in children by lowering the pituitary gland's production of growth hormone, as in children associated with a home environment involving serious marital discord, alcoholism, or child abuse.

Studies of female monkeys at Wake Forest University (2009) discovered that individuals suffering from higher stress have higher levels of visceral fat in their bodies. This suggests a possible cause-and-effect link between the two, wherein stress promotes the accumulation of visceral fat, which in turn causes hormonal and metabolic changes that contribute to heart disease and other health problems.
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Common sources
Both negative and positive stressors can lead to stress. Some common categories and examples of stressors include: sensory input such as pain, bright light, or environmental issues such as a lack of control over environmental circumstances, such as food, housing, health, freedom, or mobility.

Social issues can also cause stress, such as struggles with conspecific or difficult individuals and social defeat, or relationship conflict, deception, or break ups, and major events such as birth and deaths, marriage, and divorce.

Life experiences such as poverty, unemployment, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, heavy drinking , or insufficient sleep can also cause stress. Students and workers may face stress from exams, project deadlines, and group projects.

Adverse experiences during development (e.g. prenatal exposure to maternal stress, poor attachment histories, sexual abuse) are thought to contribute to deficits in the maturity of an individual's stress response systems. One evaluation of the different stresses in people's lives is the Holmes and Rahe stress scale.
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Adaptation
Main article: Stress management
Responses to stress include adaptation, psychological coping such as stress management, anxiety, and depression. Over the long term, distress can lead to diminished health and/or increased propensity to illness; to avoid this, stress must be managed.

Stress management encompasses techniques intended to equip a person with effective coping mechanisms for dealing with psychological stress, with stress defined as a person's physiological response to an internal or external stimulus that triggers the fight-or-flight response. Stress management is effective when a person uses strategies to cope with or alter stressful situations.

There are several ways of coping with stress, such as controlling the source of stress or learning to set limits and to say "No" to some demands that bosses or family members may make.

A person's capacity to tolerate the source of stress may be increased by thinking about another topic such as a hobby, listening to music or spending time in a wilderness.

Related How To Articles
How to Stop Being a People Pleaser
How to deal with stress
How to be calm in a stressful situation
                   Benefits of Smiling




See Also:
Stress Management
List of Health Awareness Holidays
National Mental Health Month is in May







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External Links
http://www.stresscure.com/

Resources: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia/article stressbiology /  and other related pages. Top Photo: homestead stock
How to Deal with Stress
nausea,
dizziness,
chest pain,
rapid heartbeat,
eating too much or not enough,
sleeping too much or not enough,
social withdrawal,
procrastination or neglect of responsibilities,
increased alcohol,
nicotine or drug consumption,
and nervous habits such as pacing about or nail-biting.
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