stress is a fact of life for most people. But it
affects everyone differently. What causes stress for you may not be stressful
for someone else. That's because how you view a situation affects how much
stress it causes you. Only you can figure out whether you have too much stress
in your life.
Ask yourself these questions to find out what is
causing your stress:
When she needs relief from the grind of delivering major proposals, Dana Marlowe, 33, of Washington, D.C., makes some noise. "I cruise right into my toddler’s playroom, and I just jam out with his toys -- the xylophone, the baby piano. I almost have 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' down," says Marlowe, a technology accessibility consultant.
This kind of casual music-making can short-circuit the stress response, research shows, and keep it from becoming chronic. Stress starts in the brain and then...
changes such as getting married, moving to a new city, or losing a job can all
be stressful. You can't always control these things, but you can control how
you respond to them.
To find out your current stress level based
on recent changes in your life, try this
Interactive Tool: What Is Your Stress Level?
Do your beliefs cause you stress?
Some people feel
stress because their beliefs conflict with the way they are living their life.
Examine your beliefs, such as your values and life goals, to find out if you have this kind
of conflict in your life.
How are you coping with stress?
choices can prevent your body from recovering from stress. For example, as you
sleep, your body recovers from the stresses of the day. If you're not getting
enough sleep or your sleep is often interrupted, you lose the chance to recover
The way you act and behave can also be a sign of
stress. Some people who face a lot of stress react by smoking, drinking too
much alcohol, eating poorly, or not exercising. The health risks posed by these
habits are made even worse by stress.
Your body feels
stress-related wear and tear in two ways: the stress itself and the unhealthy
ways you respond to it.