Volume 6 Issue 6

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Page 12 | Abby's Magazine - Every year, the American Psychological Associa on (APA) conducts a survey on the impact of stress in America – and as you may suspect, it's substan al. The latest survey found that many Americans are s ll repor ng extreme stress levels (8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) and many say their stress levels have increased in the past year. As APA notes: "Stress is so commonplace in American culture that a Google search generates millions of results with essays, opinions and missives on what stress is doing to us… Stress-Busting Tips from Experts By Dr. Mercola 8 8 Survey findings illustrate a scenario in which Americans consistently experience stress at levels higher than what they think is healthy. And while the average level of stress may be declining, people have a hard me achieving personal stress management goals…" The fact of the ma er is that stress management o en takes a backseat to the responsibili es of daily life, and many regard such 'me me' as an indulgence that can only take place a er everything else is 'done.' Of course, 'everything' won't ever be done, which is why it's important to weave stress relief into your daily grind such that you do it automa cally – like breathing and sleeping. Yes, Stress Relief Is Really That Important I've long said that managing your stress levels is crucial to op mal health, and that is because all of your feelings, posi ve or nega ve, create physiological changes. Your skin, heart rate, diges on, joints, muscles, energy levels, the hair on your head, and countless cells and systems you don't even know about change with every emo on. Stress plays a major role in your immune system, and can impact your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, and hormonal balance, for instance. It can even "break" your heart, and is increasingly being viewed as a cardiovascular risk marker.

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