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The Top Six Stressor Areas in Life: How to Recognize & Handle the Stress

Stress has been called America's number one health problem, and it is estimated by the American Institute for Stress that 75 percent to 90 percent of visits to the doctor are for stress-related problems.

How could this be?

The stress responses that once existed primarily to keep our bodies out of harm's way (those "fight or flight" responses), and only occurred at select instances in time, have now become persistent, pervasive and an incessant part of daily life.

Stressed Out

Feel trapped by too much stress? You're not alone--up to 90 percent of doctor visits may be due to stress-related illness.

While a little bit of stress can be good for you, over time stress will weaken your body's ability to heal itself and more. Stress has been linked to everything from heart disease, cancer and depression to autoimmune diseases and reproductive problems--in short, it's been linked to most major diseases.

According to Dr. Esther Sternberg, director of the Integrative Neural Immune Program at NIH's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), "The objective should be not to get rid of stress completely because you can't get rid of stress--stress is life, life is stress. Rather, you need to be able to use your stress response optimally." To do this, it's important to recognize the top six areas in life that cause us stress ... these are the same six areas that the e-newsletter is devoted to providing you expert solutions for!

Relationships. If things aren't right with your interpersonal relationships, whether it's with your spouse, children, parents, etc., stress will be free to flourish and wreak havoc on your body.

According to Pat Swan, M.S., CMFT, a marriage and family therapist, "More than 90 percent of my clients suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses have one primary complaint--relationship problems at work or at home."

Stretch Your Way to a Healthier,
More Relaxed Life

Stretching Toward a Healthier LifeProper stretching is one of the most widely recommended methods to help you look and feel younger, live longer, avoid and even overcome serious health issues, and increase your mental concentration and emotional well-being.

Stretching Toward a Healthier Life, the top-recommended DVD by stretching expert Jacques Gauthier:

  • Presents 15 stretches that stretch all the key muscles groups throughout your entire body.

  • Takes only about 15-20 minutes per day total to do the complete stretching.

  • Stretching expert and host Jacques Gauthier and his wife Dorothee Lavoie demonstrate each stretch in their entirety, including insights on what NOT to do.

  • Includes stretches that you'll find actually feel good and are easy to do (many stretches in other programs are not).

Learn more about the many benefits of
stretching, and find out how you can

In fact, John Gottman, a psychologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, goes so far as to say that, "Working briefly on your marriage every day will do more for your health and longevity than working out at a health club." He also says that problems in a marriage may increase your risk of getting sick by 35 percent and reduce your life expectancy by four years. For singles, stress can be created during the search for a significant other.

Finances. According to Baptist Memorial Health Care, financial problems can lead to depression and are the number one problem for married couples, plus a major cause of divorce. Facing economical difficulties can shake up your need for security and even leave you scared about how you will survive.

In a study by Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center, women with breast cancer were more likely to be depressed if they were also having financial difficulties. Money-related stress was even more likely to be linked to depressive symptoms than the recent death or illness of a loved one.

Health. Stress can certainly lead to health problems, but the converse also holds true: Health problems can be a major source of stress in your life. First there is the physical aspect of dealing with a disease, but on top of that the illness may take a toll on your relationships and finances. Plus, when your body isn't feeling its best, you'll have a harder time dealing with the stress that's created.

Health care itself is another major stressor. According to a survey of over 2,000 people by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Harvard School of Public Health, 48 percent of respondents said they were concerned about the safety of medical care for themselves and their families. Further, 55 percent said they were not satisfied with health care in the United States.

Staying Healthy in a Stressful World

Staying Healthy in a Stressful WorldThis complete training program CD will allow you to:

  • Identify the Three Major Sources of Stress and embark on a practice for transforming your stress into life-enhancing experiences.

  • Choose from a menu of 14 Short Mental Imagery Exercises for addressing such stressors as anger, anxiety, disappointment, guilt, regret, sadness, decision making and more.

  • Learn and practice the Physical Stress Buster series, designed for use right at your desk.

  • Use the Mind-Body Progressive Relaxation to shift gears, replenish your energy, and increase your vitality and clarity of mind.

Read More, Get FREE Shipping & Order Now!

Career. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center reported some startling statistics about job stress:

  • One-fourth of employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.

  • Three-fourths of employees believe the worker has more on-the-job stress than a generation ago.

  • Problems at work are more strongly associated with health complaints than are any other life stressor--more so than even financial problems or family problems.

Job stress can result from an emotionally abusive work environment, unrealistic job demands, too much work for one employee or simply trying to perform a job that's not right for you.

Safety. Personal safety, for you and your family, is a source of stress that faces us in all environments (home, work, commuting, travel and other public places) and at all times throughout the day.

In recent years, new and unprecedented worries have surfaced for Americans concerned with personal safety, including mad cow disease, homeland security and terrorism, violence in the workplace and at schools, biological warfare, genetically modified foods, and safety of prescription drugs, to name a few.

Home. Though your home is supposed to be your haven, home life, from housework to yardwork and other chores, can be downright stressful. On top of that, rising property taxes and home improvement needs can put an added stress on your finances and your relationships.

If you don't yet own a home, that doesn't let you off the hook: Looking for and buying a home has been called one of the most stressful life events you'll encounter--right on par with other major life events like career change, illness or divorce. Those of you in apartments and other living arrangements also have the added stresses of dealing with a landlord and potential roommates.


Financial difficulties are the #1 problem for married couples, and a major cause for divorce.

Eight Key Solutions to Dramatically Reduce Stress in Your Life

Before the above words get you thinking about all the stress in your life, keep reading. Here are some tips that will help you feel calm, more peaceful, and maybe even ... stress-free.

  1. Stop and "do nothing." (Give yourself a chance to calm down!)

  2. Take a deep breath.

  3. Exercise!

  4. Make sure you're eating healthy.

  5. Meditate, do yoga or perform another relaxation ritual like prayer or journaling.

  6. Lie down and rest for a few minutes (it's refreshing!).

  7. Stretch! (Simple stretching can really do wonders.) Learn about the top-recommend "Stretching for a Healthy Life DVD" (with FREE shipping for a limited time.)

  8. Get enough sleep.

Want more stress-relief tips? Take a look at the past articles below!

Recommended Reading

Stress Keeping You Awake? Stressed Because You Can't Sleep? Try These Six Tips and Six Lifestyle Habits to Get a Great Night's Sleep!

Stress Now Proven to Cause Weight Gain in Women: Five Key Stress-Reduction Tips

Stretch! The Remarkable Story of Jacques Gauthier


Stress and Disease: National Institutes of Health

Coping With Stress

Marriage Can Affect Your Health

Ohio State Research News

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

PND News

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