Stress is the “wear and tear” our bodies experience as we adjust to our continual changing environment; it has physical and emotional effects on us and can create negative feelings. As a positive influence, stress can help compel us to action; result in a new awareness and an exciting new perspective. As a negative influence stress can result in feelings of distrust, rejection anger, and depression, which in turn can cause health problems such as headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high pressure, heart disease, and stroke. (Koop,1998). The long term effects of stress on one’s health are quite significant. The American Academy of Family Physicians has said that two thirds of office visits to family doctors are prompted by stress-related symptoms. Stress is more than just a nuisance or something that occasionally makes people feel nervous or anxious. Very stressful events have been associated with a dramatically increased risk of heart attack. Chronic, ongoing stress, even when it is not so dramatic, can affect one’s health in very significant ways. One common example of this is the effect of a very stressful job. Stress, however, is not always bad. Some stress is inevitable and actually beneficial. Stress helps people when they need to grow, attain difficult goals and perform their best. Some degree of stress enhances performance even when individuals are not in immediate danger. An athlete in a race may perform better because of the stress of the big event. A wedding can be both very stressful and very happy at the same time. It would not be desirable to eliminate all stress from everyone’s life. The total absence of stress would leave people sluggish and bored. Stress can increase performance, but only to a point. When one’s stress exceeds a certain limit, additional stress will detract from performance. Stress or nervousness before a big presentation sometimes helps one to perform better and/or think with more clarity and precision,....
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