Stress is a part of life and not all of it is bad. Your body responds to stress as if you are in danger. It produces hormones that increase your heart rate, make you breathe faster and give you a burst of energy. It is the body’s way of protecting you. Stress helps you stay focused and alert and in an emergency can save your life.
This is called the “fight or flight” stress response and you use it frequently. It is what keeps you energized and focused during a presentation, allows you to respond quickly – like preventing your infant from falling down a flight of stairs, and prompts you to study up on recent tax legislation rather than golfing with your buddies.
But too much stress can be harmful to your health.
Often, the problem is that you can get so used to stress that it begins to feel normal and you are unaware of how it’s affecting you. Stress can negatively impact your mood and productivity, your relationships with family and friends, your health, even your ability to enjoy life.