Stress is the emotional, physical, or psychological strain that can be caused by change.  Everyone experiences it, to some degree.  What matters most is how we respond to it.

Stress can be beneficial by pushing us to perform or focus more effectively, however, stress can be detrimental when we experience it in large amounts.  Too much can lead to  responses, such as fight, flight, or freeze.

Stress can manifest as worry, fear, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, inability to relax, change in appetite, disturbance in sleep, difficulty concentrating, worsening of pre-existing health conditions, and increase in use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

There are a number of ways to manage stress.  Establish a routine, get adequate sleep, connect with others, eat healthy foods and exercise regularly, practice mindfulness, reflect on what you were able to accomplish during the day, set goals for the day, week, month, and seek counseling, if needed.

When we are aware of how we are feeling and work to address any symptoms present, stress does not have to be something that is insurmountable.  We are all capable of feeling better.

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