Everyone has stress in their lives: at home and work, with relatives and friends, and from other life challenges or health conditions. Stress can negatively affect the health of your body in many ways. For example, as a reaction to stress, your body releases higher levels of "stress hormones" (examples: cortisol, epinephrine) into the blood. These hormones can tighten your blood vessels and increase your heart rate -- causing higher blood pressure.
Although you may not be able to change every stressful situation, it is very important to learn how to lower the negative effects of stress on your body. Here are some suggestions of ways to help you deal with stress:
During stressful times, some people may experience chest discomfort, rapid heartbeats, back pain, headaches, and/or numbness in their arms or legs. If you have these or other symptoms, you should discuss this with your healthcare provider.