Coping with Chronic Stress

Experiencing stress is a natural part of the human condition. Stress is something that is programmed into us like an internal alarm to let us know of potentially harmful situations so they can be noted and addressed. Dr. Beth NeSmith calls it the body’s “arousal response to a perceived threat.” The response involves releasing adrenaline and cortisol into the body, the former elevates heart rate and increases blood pressure, while the latter limits bodily functions not necessary to handling the stressful situation, such as digestion and reproductive drive, until the situation is resolved. Stress is not only limited to potentially harmful situations, however.


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