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Stress: How to Use It To Your Advantage

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The word 'stress' is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as "a state of affair involving demand on physical or mental energy". A condition or circumstance (not always adverse), which can disturb the normal physical and mental health of an individual. In medical parlance 'stress' is defined as a perturbation of the body's homeostasis. This demand on mind-body occurs when it tries to cope with incessant changes in life. A 'stress' condition seems 'relative' in nature.

Aggravated stress conditions, psychologists say, lead to human health deterioration, but in moderation stress is normal and, in many cases, proves lethally useful. Stress today is often related with negative conditions, environment. Today, with the rapid diversification of human activity, we come face-to-face with numerous causes of stress and the symptoms of stress and depression.

Stress holds us up at one or the other juncture of life. For example women may remain perennially stressed about managing home, children, their professions, home budget, their children’s careers, relationships, acutely adverse conditions at workplace or strained relations at home with relatives or spouse. Men too remain sucked by physical as well as mental health problems, pressures at workplaces, meeting deadlines etc.

Each individual has his or her own specific stress management pedagogy. In some people, stress-induced adverse feelings and anxieties tend to persist and intensify. Learning to understand and master stress management techniques can help prevent the counter effects of this urban malaise.

In a challenging situation the brain prepares the body for defensive mechanism by releasing stress hormones, namely, cortisone and adrenaline. These hormones raise the blood pressure and the body prepares to react to the situation. With a concrete defensive action (fight response) the stress hormones in the blood get used up, entailing reduced stress effects and symptoms of anxiety.

When we fail to counter a stress situation (flight response) the hormones and chemicals remain unreleased in the blood stream for a long period of time.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.