Stress affects all of us from time to time. How we deal with it can mean the difference between a longer or shorter life span. For those among us that don't know how to handle stress effectively need to learn some techniques to ensure a long and healthy life. When we are under a great deal of stress our bodies release hormones to help us cope. In some cases, this can be beneficial, however, if this occurs on a constant basis it will effect our health and ultimately our lifespan. Stress in our lives will occur forever, and that is just a fact, however, we can learn techniques that will better enable us to deal with it, and as a result, improve our quality of life.

When we experience stress our body releases a hormone called adrenaline that speeds up our heart rate and slows down digestion. A signal is sent throughout our body to speed up respirations, and tense up muscles. Blood flow increases to our brains and muscles by as much as 400%,causing our blood pressure to rise. This hormone also causes the pupils of our eyes to dilate. Studies show that the human body in a constant state of physical change due to the effects of stress may increase our chances of heart disease and cancer.

Stress can cause insomnia which can lead to chronic fatigue. Not getting the proper rest places even more stress on the body. This fatigue and depression can lower the immune systems ability to fight off infection. Also, the lack of sleep tends to make us age quicker.

Gastrointestinal problems can occur with stress related incidents. Constant worrying can cause ulcers to form in the lining of our stomachs. Other problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and chronic constipation can result from stress. These problems can eventually lead to colon cancer. Stomach cramping and constant bloating are also byproducts of stress. Many people develop eating disorders while under stress in the form of loss of appetite or the opposite, overeating.

Stress can show up in skin related disorders. Increased hormone levels effect oil production leading to more acne. Flare-ups of eczema and hives can occur. These changes in our skin can stress us out even more. Stress can also effect menstruation and cause the menstrual flow to be irregular or absent. Fibroid tumors can occur from these imbalance making pregnancy difficult to accomplish. Even worse, stress can have an affect on your sex life causing men not to be able to get an erection, and or either partner not being able to achieve an orgasm.

Stress can have detrimental effects on the respiratory system. I know this first hand. An argument with a significant other while in my 30's resulted in my first asthma attack. Now I have asthma when I am significantly stressed. Stress can cause an exacerbation of asthma which can be life threatening. Stress can also cause arthritis flare-ups as well.

Stress causes the blood pressure to increase. An increase in blood pressure can lead to many complex health problems. Blood pressure increases in the brain can lead to tension headaches and even strokes. Increased blood pressure in the lungs can lead to pulmonary hypertension that results in even more breathing problems. More importantly, those suffering from stress can experience increased heart palpitations and chest pain. Furthermore, increased blood pressure in the heart can lead to cardiovascular disease, or even worse, a heart attack and death.

Stress can causes changes in behaviors that can affect our lifestyle, and as a repercussion damage our health. Those dealing with stress may take up or resume unhealthy habits such as smoking. Escape mechanism may come into play by experimenting with drugs or turning to alcohol. Some people may turn to food to placate themselves resulting in obesity. In turn, diabetes can result because of stress.

These are all important health factors that make dealing with stress imperative. Managing and knowing how to handle stress effectively doesn't always have to involve a lot of medications to decrease your risk of succumbing to one of these disease. Utilizing techniques to lessen pressures from your day can easily be incorporated into your lifestyle. Here are some things to try the next time you are going through difficult times.

Talk about whatever is getting to you. You may not be in a position to talk to the person creating the stress all of the time, however, you have a friend or a family member that will take the time to hear what you have to say. If no one is present at the time, then yell, shout, and scream it out of your system. Write your frustrations down and let the pressure inside of your body release. Throw something if you have to. Sometimes the mere act of breaking something will release the pressure inside of you. Do not hold it in until you explode.

If you find that you are under a large amount of stress, then take up some form of exercise. Start walking in the morning or evening to relieve tensions. Join a gym or start jogging and make it part of your lifestyle. When you participate in an intense exercise and speed your heart rate up, your brain releases many hormones that can benefit your body. One of the hormones secreted after an intense workout is endorphins. This hormone alleviates pain and gives one a sense of euphoria. With a regular routine of this kind of exercise, endorphins will circulate in the blood for longer periods of time creating longer lasting feelings of well being. The thyroid gland will increase the production of Thyroxine with physical activity. This hormone will increase your metabolism giving you more energy to combat the chronic fatigue that goes hand and hand with stress. It will furthermore, help control any weight gain that can occur from overeating. Exercise also promotes the release of testosterone and estrogen therefore increasing libido, which in itself can relieve stress. Other hormones are released called epinephrine and insulin that effect blood flow and the regulation of blood sugar. This one change can benefit the body in so many ways as well as self-esteem.

Try other techniques that relax the body such as meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, or go out and get a well deserved massage. Delegate responsibilities to others around you especially if you are trying to be everything to everyone. Prioritize those things that you can't avoid, and break down task instead of trying to accomplish something at once. Learn to say no when you really don't want to do something. When you find yourself in a stressful situation, remove yourself from the environment. Go shopping, or go see a friend. Take a drive down a road that you have never been and see where it leads you. Take up a new hobby. You will be amazed at how finding something you love to do takes your mind off of your worries. Just remember that what your stressing about will not be important in five years, and the only thing that is truly the cause for great concern is death. Just know that as with time all thing will change, even what your stressing about now will change as well. So try not to take little thing so seriously.