Stress is a primary component of every disease. When the accumulation of stressors (infectious microbes, financial problems, improper diet, over-work, or emotional upset) becomes more than the body can handle, illness may occur. Stress affects the body in many ways that few people realize. It can cause muscle tension, changes in blood chemistry, fatigue and increased blood pressure. Chronic stress weakens the immune system, suppresses proper digestion which can result in ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Stress management is knowing how to identify and manage stress so that it does not become a harmful “load” on the system.
Tools for stress management include:
- Recognition of the mind-body connection
- Awareness and identification of stressors and stress reactions
- Lifestyle changes
- Problem solving strategies
- Cognitive retraining skills
- Biofeedback training
- Relaxation training
- Imagery and role rehearsal
Stress management can be personalized to specific health requirements. Learning effective stress management techniques improves health and performance.