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A recent national survey found 34 percent of adults list personal finances as their leading cause of stress. Eleven percent said getting older stresses them out the most.
Whether it's work, family, or a long to-do list, chronic stress can be bad for your health.
Here are some tips for bringing stress under control.
Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D./ Stanford University Researcher: "WE CAN'T GET RID OF IT, NOR WOULD WE WANT TO. WE WANT THE PERFECT AMOUNT. AND WHAT WE CALL THE PERFECT AMOUNT OF STRESS IS STIMULATION."
Stanford researcher Dr.Robert Sapolsky is an expert on how stress affects the brain. He says stress is different things to different people. What is routine for a firefighter might drive someone else crazy.
And there are sex differences as well. The "fight or flight" survival response is characteristic of men, but not women.
Dr. Sapolsky: "WHAT'S MORE TYPICAL OF FEMALES, RATHER THAN FIGHT OR FLIGHT, IS TEND AND BEFRIEND. SOCIAL AFFILIATIONS, SOCIAL CONNECTIVENESS. STRESS RESPONSES ARE NOT GETTING YOU READY TO PUNCH OUT ON THE SAVANNAH. STRESS RESPONSES ARE ABOUT GETTING YOU READY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOCIAL AFFILIATION."
But don't stress out. There are things you can do to manage your life.
Stress reduction techniques done right will lower your blood pressure and heart rate and reduce stress hormone levels.
But don't wait till tomorrow. Do it today.
"STRESS MANAGEMENT IS NOT SOMETHING YOU SAVE FOR THE WEEKEND, OR WHEN YOU'RE ON HOLD ON THE PHONE. IT'S SOMETHING YOU NEED TO SET TIME OUT FOR-- 20, 30 MINUTES WHEN YOU'RE DOING YOUR AEROBIC EXERCISE, THAT SEEMS TO BE ABOUT THE MINIMAL AMOUNT OF TIME YOU NEED TO GET SOME OF THE CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFITS."
Whether it's exercise, music, or meditation, you need to find what works for you.
And a great place to start is with a good night's sleep.
Dr. Sapolsky: "SLEEP IS THIS MISERABLE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF STRESS, IN THAT STRESS MAKES IT HARD TO SLEEP, AND LACK OF SLEEP IS A MAJOR STRESSOR ON THE BODY. EACH WINDS UP FEEDING ON ITSELF. WE HAVE A SOCIETY WHERE SLEEP DEPRIVATION IS EXTREMELY COMMONPLACE AND HAS BIGH HEALTH IMPACTS."
Stress also affects appetite. For some people it makes them eat less, for others a whole lot more.
One thing is clear: Diet is very sensitive to stress, and learning to handle that stress is a key step for anyone watching their weight.