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Stress is a natural, physiological response that involves a complex interaction between the mind, body, and environment. Stress is not inherently bad. In fact, we need a certain, optimal level of stress in order to remain alert and perform well.
Ideally, stress prepares us to take action by activating our sympathetic nervous system and improving mental focus. If we are too relaxed, we’re likely to be less motivated and less primed for physical action, thus inhibiting our ability to respond well to a situation. If we are under too much stress, we also suffer as our body stiffens and we lose our mental edge.
The problem occurs when we experience too much stress. We overtax the natural resources of the body both physically and mentally. Chronic, high levels of stress have been associated with many serious physical and psychological difficulties, including insomnia, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, depression and anxiety disorders.
Due to the complex nature of stress and its effect on us, there are many potential warning signs. Every person has a different response to overwhelming stress based on his/her genetic predispositions, life history, and current thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Warning signs of too much stress can include the following: