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Managing Stress

School’s back in session! With that comes early mornings, endless homework, and unrelenting STRESS! Stress is a natural reaction that can serve useful in some situations while posing a dangerous health risk in others. Feeling overwhelmed is not uncommon and Canada has a number of support systems to ensure you are never alone with your stress.

Many people are familiar with the feelings that accompany stress itself. When the body identifies a stimulus that may require extra resources to manage, the stress reaction is triggered. Stress reactions utilize varying hormones to quickly communicate to the body and trigger responses to deal with a stimulus. Stress can be necessary at times but can turn into a problem in and of itself if overused. “Fight or flight” is a quintessential example of a stress response to an apparent perceived threat. Other situations that bring about stress responses are family problems, homework deadlines, or traumatic experiences.

Stress can be minor, or it can be intense. It can dissipate after a short while, or it can hang around as a chronic burden. Stress can benefit the body by helping it respond properly to a problem. It can also be damaging if it overwhelms a person beyond their capacity to cope or continues over a prolonged period of time.

Distinguishing the difference between useful stress and harmful stress can be important. Regulating the instances of unproductive stress or bad stress allow you to take personal control over it. Productive stress can help encourage high achievement, enhance performance in fitness, and help with focus.

Chronic stress refers to a stress response maintained by the body for a long period of time. Chronic stress correlates with a large number of health complications, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, depression, gastrointestinal problems, asthma…to name a few. Many studies have been conducted to attempt to analyze the outcomes of chronic stress with strong connections between long-term stress and cardiovascular disease being uncovered. Chronic stress not only exacerbates these problems but has a proven tendency to encourage poor lifestyle choices like smoking or excessive drinking.

Stress brings pressure that not only negatively affects health but can have a major psychological effect that has been proven to diminish one’s ability to cope with difficult situations, also making them more vulnerable to developing mental health conditions in the future.

Sadly, stress is not something we can eliminate; it is an uncontrollable part of our lives. One way to cope with stress is to reach out and get help from others. has some excellent stress self-care resources, apps and interactive activities that can help you build skills and develop ways to manage stress –

We can make stress a less daunting part of life by acknowledging our own limits and ensuring we stay within them while identifying particularly stressful influences and reducing them. Simple changes like starting a regular bedtime routine or making changes to your eating habits can better equip your body to manage stress.

If you are looking for ways to manage stress or you feel stress may have already taken a toll on your well-being, schedule an appointment with one of our physicians. What’s more important than your health?


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