Reducing stress helps you to feel better and be healthier.

For many of us, stress has become part of everyday life. But, biologically, it was not meant to be so.

In nature, stress has a purpose. It’s often triggered by circumstances that may cause harm or death, and helps animals and living things to cope, adapt and survive.

But if the body is continually under stress, the results are often unhealthy, and even detrimental.

When faced with a threat, whether real or imagined, a biological response is triggered within your body.

Your nervous system goes on “high alert”, flooding your body with hormones including adrenaline and cortisol.

Among other things, these hormones increase your heart rate, your blood pressure and make you breathe faster.

All of this works to sharpen your senses. This response was designed so that you are prepared to defend yourself or flee from danger, often called ‘flight or fight’ response.

Unfortunately the body reacts similarly to many different kinds of stress. And if you are constantly stressed from everyday situations, your body is continually reacting to the stress stimulus.

We live lives full of stressful situations caused by any number of factors; family responsibilities, schedules and deadlines, financial pressures and numerous demands.

We rarely take the time needed to relax, unwind and reduce the level of stress.

Constant stress forces your body to be on “high alert” the majority of the time, and this is very unhealthy.

At some point the stress created begins to take a toll, disrupting your body’s normal function, causing damage to your mental and physical health, and affecting your overall quality of life.

Sufferers of chronic stress are more vulnerable to anxiety, panic attacks and depression, and may have symptoms including a suppressed immune system, infertility or increased blood pressure.

Long term sufferers often age faster and have an increased risk of disease including heart attack and stroke.

It is important to recognize signs and symptoms of too much stress, and find a way to bring your system back into balance.