The World Health Organization reports that stress related psychological and physiological disorders have become the number one social and health problem in the last decade. Records show that four out of every five adults are suffering from some form of tension and anxiety for a prolonged period of time.
The term "Stress" refers to any reaction to a physical, mental or emotional stimulus that upsets the body's natural balance. Stress is an unavoidable part of life. It can result from many things, both physical and psychological. Pressures and deadlines at work, problems with loved ones, the need to pay the bills, constant interruptions, even special occasions such as purchasing a car or house. Overwork, excess exercise, lack of sleep, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking are common physical factors that put stress on the body. Less obvious sources of stress include everyday encounters with traffic, crowds, noise, pain and even extremes of temperature. Literally no age gender, ethnicity or economic status is excluded from stress and its potential adverse effects.
Stress causes fatigue, weight gain, chronic headaches, irritability, memory loss, low self esteem, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, shallow breathing, nervous symptoms, lower sex drive, changes in sleep patterns and gastrointestinal disorders. It is obvious that stress creates an excellent breeding ground for illness. As a matter of fact, over two-thirds of office visits to physicians are for stress related illnesses . It is believed that as much as 80% of all illnesses are caused by stress and it is a major contributing factor, either directly or indirectly, to coronary artery disease, cancer, respiratory disorders, accidental injuries, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide...the six leading causes of death in the United States.
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